Italy to transfer embassy from Afghanistan to Qatar – minister

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Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio attends a joint press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov following their meeting in Rome, Italy, August 27, 2021. Russian Foreign Ministry / Document via REUTERS

CERNOBBIO, Italy, Sept.5 (Reuters) – Italy plans to move its Afghan embassy to Doha, Qatar, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said on Sunday, the latest indication of Western diplomats settling permanently out of the country. Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover.

The announcement follows earlier signals that Western countries and the European Union, which have closed their missions in Kabul, may use the Gulf state as an offshore hub for their diplomatic relations with Afghanistan.

Many diplomats have flown to the Gulf state, which has been home to the Taliban’s political office since 2013, after evacuating the Afghan capital late last month.

China, Iran, Pakistan, Russia and Turkey have kept their embassies open in the Afghan capital, increasing their opportunities to directly influence a new government, which is being formed. Read more

“Today I will meet the Emir of Qatar, then the Minister of Foreign Affairs, because we intend to move the embassy we had in Kabul to Doha,” said Di Maio, who was speaking at the meeting. ‘a video call from Doha with businessmen and politicians. attend a business conference in Cernobbio on Lake Como.

“Qatar has become the center of diplomatic relations vis-à-vis this Afghan government which is being formed,” said Di Maio.

Sources within the Taliban have said that its co-founder, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, will lead a new Afghan government which is expected to be announced shortly.

The United States suspended operations at its embassy in Kabul on August 31, a day after Washington completed the withdrawal of its forces from Afghanistan, ending 20 years of war that culminated in the return to power of the militants. Taliban.

Reporting by Francesca Landini; edited by Philip Pullella and Philippa Fletcher

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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