Prodi again under fire due to Afghan interpreter

Prime Minister Romano Prodi faced new criticism of his foreign policy after the reported killing of an interpreter who worked for a since-freed Italian hostage in the war-torn Afghanistan.

Prodi again under fire due to Afghan interpreter
Prime Minister Romano Prodi faced new criticism of his foreign policy after the reported killing of an interpreter who worked for a since-freed Italian hostage in the war-torn Afghanistan.

"The execution of (La Repubblica correspondent Daniele) Mastrogiacomo's interpreter is a terrible responsibility for the Prodi government," said lawmaker Isabella Berolini of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia party.

"It casts light on the cynicism of Prodi, of (Foreign Minister Massimo) D'Alema and company," she said on Sunday.

Earlier, Prodi said he "learned with anguish the news of the murder of the interpreter that followed that of the (correspondent's) driver."

Speaking to ANSA, he added: "We strongly condemn this absurd crime."

The Taliban claimed Sunday that the freelance reporter, Ajmal Naqshbandi, was killed because the Afghan authorities refused to negotiate over their demands for the release of two Talibans.

Prodi's fragile centre-left coalition survived a key test on March 27 over the highly sensitive issue of funding for Italy's 2,000-strong contingent in the NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

Only a month earlier, a similar vote sparked a major political crisis in which Prodi resigned before being reinstated and surviving confidence votes in both houses of parliament.

The centre-left has only a two-vote advantage in the 315-seat Senate, and the far left flank of the coalition opposes Italy's foreign military operations, particularly in Afghanistan.

When the lower house of parliament, the chamber of deputies, voted on the funding on March 8 -- as the hostage crisis in Afghanistan was just beginning to unfold -- the measure passed overwhelmingly, with 524 in favour, three opposed and 19 abstentions.

Naqshbandi was kidnapped along with Mastrogiacomo on March 4 in southern Afghanistan.

Mastrogiacomo was released in a swap of five Taliban prisoners that angered some countries to condemn negotiations with Taliban
Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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