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Afghanistan names first woman diplomat

April 23, 2002

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PARIS, April 22: Afghanistan’s interim administration has appointed its first woman diplomat in Europe, officials said on Monday.

Chekeba Hachemi, 27, a Paris-based Afghan aid worker, has been appointed number two in the country’s newly-opened embassy in Brussels.

“She is the first Afghan woman diplomat ever appointed in Europe,” an Afghan embassy source here said.

The Brussels embassy opened last week, acting as Afghanistan’s political mission in the European Union — based in Brussels — and as the diplomatic centre covering neighbouring Luxembourg and The Netherlands.

Hachemi, who holds a doctorate in economics, has lived in Paris since 1986 and is head of the Afghanistan Libre aid-group which runs a small network of girls schools and women’s health care centres in Afghanistan’s remote villages.

“I do not want to be a showpiece. Rather, I would like to see to what an extent the new post can serve my goals: helping the Afghan people, in general, and women in particular,” she said.

“I do not want it to be a hand-shaking opportunity,” she said.—AFP