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Newsline: Afghan diplomat attacks envoy at embassy in Rome

A fired Afghan diplomat claiming ties to the Taliban attacked the ambassador at Afghanistan’s Embassy in Rome this week, the mission said. In a statement published on social media, the Rome embassy said a diplomat – appointed by the former Afghan government but recently dismissed – returned to the mission earlier that day, claiming he had been named ambassador by the Taliban. “Later he attacked the ambassador in the presence of an embassy employee, but the ambassador defended himself and called the Italian police,” read the statement written in Dari. It named the dismissed diplomat as Mohammad Fahim Kashaf, saying he lost his job due to a “lack of commitment to national values and the values of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.” Police escorted Kashaf – who had been with his child – out of the embassy, and the ambassador was unharmed, it said. (https://www.dailysabah.com/world/europe/diplomatic-limbo-afghan-diplomat-attacks-envoy-at-embassy-in-rome) The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is the United Nations-recognized name of the country, which the Taliban now calls the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.” An Afghan diplomatic source told Agence France-Presse (AFP) Kashaf had “switched loyalty” to the Taliban and had been “beaten up” by his former colleagues. The Rome embassy did not return a telephone call and email seeking comment. Police in Rome told AFP a “misunderstanding” had taken place at the embassy but provided no further details. The Taliban’s foreign ministry in Kabul denied Kashaf had been appointed ambassador but also said he had not been dismissed. Many of Afghanistan’s embassies are in diplomatic limbo, with staff still loyal to the Western-backed government toppled by the Taliban last August. The Taliban have not appointed new representatives to most missions, however, and their government is not recognized by any nation.

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