Zamir Kabulov (Russian: Замир Кабулов; born 22 June 1954) is a high rank career diplomat and Russian presidential envoy to Afghanistan. He was the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan until September 21, 2009.
Kabulov, who was born in Soviet Uzbekistan, graduated from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations in 1977, and went on to work in various diplomatic posts in the central offices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and abroad, in particular in Afghanistan. His Central Asian background further bolstered his position in dealing with Afghan and Pakistani issues. From 1979 to 1983 he worked in the Soviet Embassy in Iran.
From 1983 to 1987 he was second secretary in the Soviet Embassy in Kabul also responsible for relations with the press. From 1987 to 1991 he worked in the Foreign Ministry in Moscow and studied at the Diplomatic Academy in Moscow. In 1991-1992 he was councillor at the Soviet/Russian embassy in Kabul and after the embassy was closed down when the mujahideen took control of Kabul he was posted to the Russian Embassy in Pakistan.
In 1995 Kabulov took part in talks with the Taliban in an attempt to secure the release of a Russian Il-76 crew whose plane was forced to land in Kandahar. During these talks he met with the Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar. Between 1996—1998, Kabulov was a senior political adviser in a special mission of the United Nations for Afghanistan, based in Pakistan. Between 1998 and 2004 Kabulov worked as the Foreign Ministry's Deputy Director of the Third Department on Asia, and was a special representative of the Foreign Minister during the 2001 Bonn Agreement talks on Afghanistan.
On 18 March 2004, Kabulov presented his diplomatic credentials to Hamid Karzai, the head of the Transitional Islamic State of Afghanistan. Kabulov has been critical of the NATO mission in Afghanistan, calling it ineffective, due to alleged negligence by NATO in understanding the national, religious and cultural traditions of Afghanistan.
The New York Times correspondent John F. Burns, who interviewed Ambassador Kabulov in October 2008, alleges that Kabulov “is no ordinary ambassador, having served as a K.G.B. agent in Kabul — and eventually as the K.G.B. resident, Moscow's top spy — in the 1980s and 1990s, during and after the nine-year Soviet military occupation.”
- Кабулов Замир Набиевич (in Russian). Information-Analytical Portal "Heritage". Retrieved 13 July 2008.[dead link]
- Lyse Doucet (9 March 2009). "Afghanistan's Soviet remnants". Kabul: BBC News. Retrieved 15 December 2019.
"It was a mistake," admitted Russia's Ambassador in Kabul, Zamir Kabulov, when we visit the memorial to Moscow's dead on the far edge of their gleaming new embassy in Kabul. He was a young diplomat during the Soviet occupation and has spent almost all his career in Afghanistan.
- "Afghan leader receives credentials of new Russian ambassador". Bakhtar News Agency. 18 March 2004. Archived from the original on 22 May 2011. Retrieved 13 July 2008.
- "Zamir Kabulov urges NATO to change its tactics in Afghanistan". Afghanistan.ru. 28 June 2008. Archived from the original on 6 October 2009. Retrieved 13 July 2008.
- Burns, John F., An Old Afghanistan Hand Offers Lessons of the Past, The New York Times, October 19, 2008.
- Kathy Gannon (14 February 2019). "AP Interview: Envoy says Russia's clout in Afghanistan rises". Kabul, Afghanistan. AP. Retrieved 15 December 2019.