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Afghan spokesman fired for praising Taliban visit

Challenging stance of Afghan presidency, spokesman welcomed Taliban's visit to Pakistan to revive peace talks with US

Shadi Khan Saif   | 07.10.2019
Afghan spokesman fired for praising Taliban visit

KABUL, Afghanistan

Afghanistan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman has been sacked following remarks supportive of the Taliban's visit to Pakistan to revive peace talks, an official confirmed on Sunday.

Giving no reason, the ministry indirectly announced the sacking of Sibghatullah Ahmadi, the spokesman.

Announcing on Twitter the promotion of Mirwais Naab to deputy foreign minister, Waheed Omer, head of the ministry’s Office of Public and Strategic Affairs, added: “He will also oversee the work of spokesperson’s office in MFA."

Afghanistan on Thursday called Pakistan’s warm welcome for Taliban leaders in Pakistan a violation of diplomatic norms.

The Taliban has refused to recognize or enter into talks with Afghanistan’s government, instead talking with the U.S. before talks were abruptly called off last month by Washington.

Sediq Seddiqi, presidential spokesman, told journalists in the capital Kabul that the meetings in the capital Islamabad would not help the Afghan peace process.

“We saw the Taliban members travel to Pakistan. Unfortunately, a protocol was accepted by the Pakistani foreign minister and they have met, but these meetings do not contribute to the peace process,” he said.

Ahmadi, however, welcomed the meeting.

Writing on Twitter, he said: “We welcome the efforts of all the countries in the region and the world aimed at peace in Afghanistan and particularly appreciate these countries' efforts in terms of facilitating direct talks between the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban. Discussions continue on the mechanism of initiating the peace talks.”

Ahmadi was “fired due to his latest irresponsible comments,” said Seddiqi, according to local Ariana News.

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