Rome

Foreign minister refuses Kazakh ambassador

Row continues over expulsion of oligarch's family

Foreign minister refuses Kazakh ambassador

Rome, July 31 - Italy's foreign minister refused to meet with the ambassador of Kazakhstan Tuesday in a row over pressuring Rome to expel the family of a Kazakh oligarch and touted dissident. "I don't find it opportune to receive him," said Emma Bonino. Andrian Yelemessov, who has returned to Italy from vacation, had requested to meet with Bonino and other politicians to discuss the scandal surrounding Alma Shalabayeva, wife of Kazakh opposition figure Mukhtar Ablyazov, and their six-year-old daughter, who were forcibly removed from Rome and sent back to Kazakhstan at the end of May. Bonino has threatened to expel the diplomat for allegedly pressuring the interior ministry to deport them without going through the proper channels at the foreign ministry. In turn, Kazakhstan has warned it would retaliate.

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