SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 29 January 2022, Saturday |

Envoys scuffle at Afghan embassy in Rome

According to the mission, police were summoned to Afghanistan’s embassy in Rome this week after a fired Afghan diplomat alleging Taliban affiliations assaulted the ambassador.

Many of Afghanistan’s embassies are in diplomatic limbo, with employees still loyal to the Western-backed government that was overthrown by the Taliban last August.

The Taliban, on the other hand, have not assigned new representatives to most missions, and their government is not recognized by any nation.

The Rome embassy stated in a statement posted on social media Tuesday that a diplomat nominated by the old Afghan government but recently sacked had returned to the mission earlier that day, saying he had been named ambassador by the Taliban.

“Later, in the presence of an embassy staffer, he attacked the ambassador, but the envoy defended himself and contacted the Italian police,” stated the statement, written in Dari.

The ousted diplomat was identified as Mohammad Fahim Kashaf, and he was fired for “lack of devotion to national principles and the ideals of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.”

According to the report, police removed Kashaf, who had been with his child, out of the embassy, while the ambassador remained uninjured.

The United Nations recognizes the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan as the official name of the nation, which the Taliban refer to as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

According to an Afghan diplomatic source, Kashaf “switched loyalties” to the Taliban and was “beaten up” by his former comrades.

The Rome embassy did not respond to requests for comment through phone or email.

Police in Rome told AFP that a “misunderstanding” had occurred inside the embassy, but gave no additional information.

The Taliban’s foreign office in Kabul rejected Kashaf’s appointment as ambassador, but added that he had not been fired.

According to documents, Kashaf was named first secretary in the embassy in December 2020, with a contract valid through December of the following year.