Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for Afghanistan

Newsline: Russian envoy denies plans to close embassy in Afghanistan

Zamir Kabulov, director of the Second Asian Department of the Russian Foreign Minister, said Russia has no intentions to close its diplomatic mission in Kabul, TASS reported. “Such thoughts have not even occurred,” Kabulov said when asked whether Russia had such plans. (https://www.khaama.com/russia-has-no-plans-to-close-its-embassy-in-afghanistan-says-envoy/) The Al-Arabiya TV channel stated that several governments have opted to close their embassies in Kabul due to security concerns. According to the foreign ministry of Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Kabul was closed on February 2 due to the security threats of possible attacks on the diplomatic mission by ISIS. Based on the confirmed source from the Saudi Arabian foreign ministry, ISIS was preparing to use a car bomb to strike the Saudi diplomatic mission in Kabul. As a result, they closed the embassy in Kabul and evacuated the staff to Islamabad.

Newsline: Saudi Arabia said to close embassy in Kabul

Some unconfirmed news suggest that Saudi Arabia has closed down its embassy in Kabul and evacuated 19 members of its diplomatic mission in the city. “According to reports of Afghan journalists, Saudi Arabia has closed down its embassy in Kabul, and has evacuated 19 of its staff,” Afghan Journalist Saeedullah Safi tweeted late Saturday. (https://en.mehrnews.com/news/197044/Saudi-Arabia-reportedly-closes-its-embassy-in-Kabul) Official Saudi sources have not confirmed the news yet. Ealier in August 2021, Saudi Arabia had evacuated members of its diplomatic mission in Kabul due to the unstable conditions in Afghanistan.

Newsline: Chinese embassy in Kabul monitoring consequences of attack near Chinese hotel

Armed men opened fire on Monday inside a hotel in central Kabul popular with Chinese nationals in an attack that ended when at least three gunmen were killed by security forces, the Taliban-run administration said. Two foreigners were injured while trying to escape by jumping from the hotel balcony, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid wrote on Twitter. Taliban sources said the attack was carried out at Longan Hotel where Chinese and other foreigners usually stay. (https://neuters.de/world/asia-pacific/armed-men-open-fire-kabul-building-housing-foreigners-sources-2022-12-12/) The attack came a day after China’s ambassador met the Afghan deputy foreign minister to discuss security-related matters and sought more attention on the protection of its embassy. China’s state-run Xinhua news agency said the attack happened near a Chinese guesthouse and its embassy in Kabul was closely monitoring the situation. The embassy did not respond to a Reuters request for comment. Several bombings have taken place in Afghanistan in recent months, including an attack on the Pakistan embassy earlier this month and a suicide blast near the Russian embassy in September. Both attacks were claimed by the Islamic State.

Newsline: Suspect arrested in Pakistan Embassy attack in Afghanistan

A member of the militant Islamic State group has been arrested in last week’s shooting attack targeting the Pakistani Embassy in Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul, the spokesman of the Taliban government said. (https://www.stamfordadvocate.com/news/article/IS-suspect-arrested-in-Pakistan-Embassy-attack-in-17631613.php) The attack, in which shots were fired at the embassy from a nearby building, triggered anger in Pakistan, and increased tensions between the two South Asian neighbors.

Newsline: Pakistani embassy in Kabul attacked

Pakistan’s embassy in Kabul came under attack on Friday with gunfire wounding a Pakistani security guard, officials said, in what Islamabad called an attempt to assassinate its head of mission, who was unhurt. It was not immediately clear who was behind the embassy attack. A spokesperson for Kabul police said the embassy compound was targeted by gunfire from a nearby building. Police had arrested one suspect and recovered two firearms, the statement said. (https://news.yahoo.com/pakistan-says-kabul-head-mission-124717250.html) Pakistan’s Foreign Office said the attack had been aimed at the head of mission, Ubaid-ur-Rehman Nizamani. It said Nizamani was safe, but a Pakistani security guard, Sepoy Israr Mohammad, was critically wounded in the attack while protecting the ambassador.

Newsline: Japanese ambassador meets Taliban official

The Taliban say one of their top officials has met with Japan’s ambassador to Afghanistan. This comes after Japan partially reopened its embassy in Kabul last month. The Taliban said their acting interior minister, Sirajuddin Haqqani, held talks with Okada Takashi in the capital on Sunday. (https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20221024_40/) The embassy said both sides exchanged candid views on issues including girls’ education and media freedom. Japan temporarily closed the embassy after the Taliban regained power last year. The meeting between Haqqani and Okada took place at a time when the international community is considering how to deal with the Taliban. The group has not been recognized as a legitimate government by any country so far.

Newsline: ISIS claim responsibility for suicide bombing outside Russian embassy in Kabul

The terrorist group known as ISIS have claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing in Afghanistan. (https://euroweeklynews.com/2022/09/06/breaking-news-multiple-casualties-after-suicide-bombing-outside-russian-embassy-in-kabul-afghanistan/) Two Russian diplomats have reportedly been killed in the suicide bombing outside the Russian embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, as reported on Monday, September 5. The suicide bomber reportedly blew himself up outside the Russian embassy in Kabul, while waiting in line for visas. The attack outside the consular section of the Russian Embassy in Kabul took place as a member of the section came out to read out a list of those waiting in line for a visa, Afghan media reported.

Newsline: Two Russian embassy staff killed in Kabul bombing

A bomb exploded near the Russian embassy in the Afghan capital Kabul on Monday morning, officials said. Two Russian embassy staff were killed on Monday in a blast near the country’s diplomatic mission in Kabul, the Russian Foreign Ministry said. Russia’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying that at 10:50 am Kabul time, an unknown militant set off an explosive device in the immediate vicinity of the entrance to the consular section of the Russian Embassy in Kabul. “As a result of the attack, two employees of the diplomatic mission were killed, and there are also victims among Afghan citizens,” the ministry said. (https://www.newsweek.com/explosion-russian-embassy-kabul-afghanistan-diplomats-kabul-1739779) The explosion happened near the embassy building located in the Darul Aman area, southwest of Kabul, Khaama Press reported. Russian state run news agency TASS cited the Arabic TV channel Al Arabiya as saying that the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber.

Newsline: Indian embassy newly re-opened in Kabul to expand activities

According to TOLO news, Abdul Qahar Balkhi, the spokesperson for the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said on Twitter that the recently “re-opened” Indian embassy in Kabul is anticipated to expand activities. “The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan appreciates this step of India, which wants to increase the level of diplomatic representation of its embassy in Kabul,” said Abdul Qahar Balkhi in a Tweet. (https://www.msn.com/en-in/news/world/indian-embassy-newly-re-opened-in-kabul-karzai-urged-ambassador-not-to-leave/ar-AA10PpTu) Local workers provided consular services in the Indian Embassy in Kabul, according to local media sources, and it was never shuttered. The “technical team,” which has been stationed there since June and focuses on commercial and trade opportunities as well as the provision of food and medical supplies, will expand the Embassy’s operations. Another Indian team recently went to Kabul to supervise the distribution of our humanitarian aid to Afghanistan and met with Taliban leaders. An evaluation of the security situation was also done during the visit.

Newsline: Taliban mark first anniversary of victory next to US embassy in Kabul

Taliban fighters chanted victory slogans next to the US embassy in Kabul Monday as they marked the first anniversary of their return to power in Afghanistan following a turbulent year that saw women’s rights crushed and a humanitarian crisis worsen. “This great victory came after countless sacrifices and hardships,” Abdul Ghani Baradar, deputy prime minister and co-founder of the Taliban movement, said on Twitter. “On this day… the Islamic Emirate brought the world’s superpower and its allies to their knees and Afghans gained their independence,” added Baradar, who in 2020 signed a deal with Washington offering security guarantees in return for the withdrawal of foreign forces. (https://news.yahoo.com/day-conquest-taliban-mark-turbulent-065835722.html) One group marched past the former US embassy, chanting ‘Long live Islam’ and ‘Death to America’. Exactly a year ago, the hardline Islamists captured Kabul after a nationwide lightning offensive against government forces just as US-led troops were ending two decades of intervention in a conflict that cost tens of thousands of lives.