Following a public row between Sediq Seddiqi, the presidential spokesman, and Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Sibaghatullah Ahmadi, President Ghani on Sunday fired Ahmadi and replaced him with the former ambassador to Turkmenistan, Mirwais Nab.
Sediqqi announced the personnel change with a tweet on Sunday:
“President Ghani has appointed Mr. Mirwais Nab as Deputy Minister for Economic Cooperation Ministry of Foreign Affairs and caretaker of the office of Spokesperson of the ministry. The former MOFA acting Spokesperson has been fired due to his latest irresponsible comments.”
The argument was over the propriety of the Taliban delegation to Pakistan. On Thursday Ahmadi publicly supported Pakistan’s hosting of the Taliban because it was in the interest of peace, while Ghani’s spokesperson Sediq Sediqqi condemned the meeting as inappropriate, saying that welcoming terrorists–whose only agenda is war–violates diplomatic norms.
Later in a tweet, Sediqqi claimed that MoFA’s Ahmadi was not expressing the views of the Afghan government. Ahmadi responded that he in fact was speaking for the government.
Late Sunday night Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah made a statement countermanding Ghani’s dismissal of Ahmadi. Abdullah stated that Spokesperson Ahmadi will continue in his role until after the election results have been announced.
He also said that dismissals and appointments at this juncture are linked with the elections, and that Ahmadi’s support of the peace process reflects the position of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Abudullah also made the point that all issues surrounding the country’s foreign policy require debate at a higher government level, so that all government units can eventually speak on the issues in a united way.