Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for Afghanistan

Newsline: Pakistani diplomat shot in Afghanistan

A Pakistani diplomatic official was shot by unknown gunmen near his residence in the city of Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan on Monday, officials said. Pakistan Foreign ministry spokesman Mohammad Faisal issued a statement saying the Afghan charge d‘affaires in Islamabad had been summoned to protest the incident which consular officials said occurred in front of a staff guesthouse. He condemned the killing and demanded increased security for Pakistani diplomatic staff from Afghan authorities. Relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan have been going through a stormy period with tensions over the latest U.S. strategic plan for the region and disputes over the Torkham border crossing, which Pakistan has closed periodically. Afghanistan’s ambassador to Pakistan, Omar Zakhilwal condemned the killing in a message on Twitter and said he had conveyed his government’s sympathies to the ministry of foreign affairs in Islamabad.



Newsline: Suicide bomber strikes near US Embassy in Kabul

An explosion hit a bank in an area of the Afghanistan’s capital Kabul on Tuesday close to the heavily protected U.S. embassy compound, officials said. Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish said the blast occured at the entrance to a Kabul Bank branch, not far from the embassy. There was no immediate word on casualties.


Newsline: Chinese Company to Build Afghanistan’s Embassy in Pakistan

A leading Chinese company will build the Afghan embassy complex in Islamabad that will cost nearly 17 million US dollars, Xinhua reported. Afghanistan’s deputy foreign minister Nasir Ahmad Andisha joined the Chinese ambassador to Pakistan Sun Weidong and Afghan ambassador in Islamabad Omar Zakhilwal at the ground-breaking ceremony of the building in the diplomatic enclave. Andisha said the new Afghan embassy will be his country’s biggest embassy in the world which also reflect Afghanistan’s quest for good relations with Pakistan. He also thanked China’s help in the construction.


Newsline: Attack near Iraqi embassy in Kabul reported

A suicide bomber has attacked a police compound and the nearby Iraqi embassy in Kabul on Monday, security officials in the Afghan capital say. Sources tell Al Jazeera that fighters are holed up in a building close to the Iraqi embassy in Shar-e-Naw and a gun battle is under way. “We heard two explosions near the Iraqi embassy and part of the building has been damaged,” Mohsen Negaresh, a witness, told Al Jazeera. Police confirmed the blast had taken place, but said they did not immediately have further information. The attack comes a week after at least 35 people were killed in a suicide attack on government workers in Kabul and underlines the precarious security in Afghanistan as the US administration considers an overhaul of its policy in the region.


Newsline: Dodgy guns compromise security of Australian embassy in Afghanistan

A faulty shipment of assault rifles compromised security at the Australian embassy in Afghanistan and prompted a change of the guards at checkpoints, it has emerged. Some of the weapons exploded during test firing and others were found to be inoperable. Checkpoint, embassy and diplomatic residence guards, generally Nepalese Gurkha and locally employed staff, were issued locally purchased AK-47s — some of which were 60 years old — which were found to have malfunctions, including bent barrels, a source has told the Herald Sun. Australian mobile teams, armed with M4 assault rifles and Glock pistols, were retasked from close personal protection and transport missions to manning checkpoints and the residences of diplomatic staff until the issue was addressed earlier this month. “The embassy are fully aware of the incident, it has gone very high-level and there is an investigation under way. DFAT are fully aware as is the ambassador,” the source, familiar with the problems, said. “They were without proper protection for up to two days until the mobile teams were used to cover for them. This lasted about 24 to 48 hours.” It is understood that of the 71 AK-47s in a shipment purchased for approximately $130,000, about 63 were found to have defects and several “exploded” during fire range testing by an armourer.


Newsline: Lack of US Ambassador to Afghanistan Draws Criticism

At a time when the Trump administration has been slow to nominate U.S. ambassadors for posts around the world, there is increasing attention on the absence of an American ambassador in Afghanistan, where nearly 10,000 U.S. troops are deployed. Six months into his term, President Donald Trump has nominated 20 ambassadors and has had six confirmed. By this point in his first term, President Barack Obama had nominated 40, with three confirmed. A delegation of prominent U.S. senators visited Kabul and called on Trump to quickly nominate a permanent American ambassador to Afghanistan, citing a critical situation there.


Newsline: Canadian embassy suffered ‘significant’ damage in Afghanistan

Canada’s embassy in Kabul suffered “significant” damage after a powerful bomb hidden in a sewage tanker exploded in the diplomatic district of Afghanistan’s capital, killing at least 90 people and injuring over 350 more Wednesday. “All our Embassy employees have been accounted for and are safe,” Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a statement. “Our Canadian embassy sustained significant damage to its first floor and there was minimal impact on the rest of the building.”