Ambassador Khaled A. Zekriya Biography
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Afghanistan in Italy
Based on Decree 1272, 27 August 2020, of H.E. President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Khaled A. Zekriya was appointed as Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the Italian Republic and assumed office on 6 January 2021. He also represents Afghanistan at the Rome Based Agencies (FAO, WFP, IFAD and IDLO) and oversees the Republics of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Malta, and San Marino’s bilateral relations to which the Embassy of Afghanistan in Rome is accredited on non-residential basis.
Prior to his current post, from 2013 – 2020, Khaled A. Zekriya was the Director General of the Fifth Political Division (Americas, Australia, and New Zealand) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (MoFA). In this capacity, he was responsible for integrating political, economic, and social issues into Afghanistan's bilateral relations as well as overseeing and delegating the operations of Afghanistan's missions within the area of his regional jurisdiction. From 2009 – 2013, Khaled A. Zekriya served as Afghanistan’s Ambassador to the State of Qatar and upon completion of his successful tenure, he received the State of Qatar's highest award, the Sash Merit Award by His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani.
Khaled A. Zekriya joined MoFA in May 2003 and in September of 2004, he was appointed as the Director of the ministry’s Fifth Political Division. Since the beginning of his tenure at the MoFA, Khaled A. Zekriya has led several phases of organizational restructuring at MoFA; taught diplomatic courses for Afghan diplomats and civil servants at MoFA’s Institute of Diplomacy; participated in the preparation of Foreign Service Entrance Exams and interviews; and finished the completion of the first Human Resource Policy Guide and Diplomatic Law for MoFA. Additionally, he served as the Chief Negotiator for the Dubai Process—a bilateral initiative between the Governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan—supported by the Government of Canada on issues related to security, economic and social developments around the Durand Line as well as led the negotiation talks with the Australia side on Migration and Humanitarian Cooperation between the governments of Afghanistan and Australia.
Concurrent to his official duties, Khaled A. Zekriya was also the Head of the 'Mine Action Clearance Program for Afghanistan' and represented Afghanistan at the G8 Broader Middle East and North Africa (BMENA) conferences, which dealt with 'The Literacy Initiative in Afghanistan'.
Khaled Zekriya holds two bachelor’s degrees in Sociology and History from the University of California San Diego (UCSD). In 2003, he attained his M.A. in Political Science from San Diego State University (SDSU). His quantitative research for his master’s Thesis dealt with the study of 'Civic Culture' among the adult members of the Afghan community in San Diego, California.
Khaled A. Zekriya was born in Kabul, Afghanistan and is married and the father of a 9-year-old son named Wais, who lives in San Diego, California, USA. Khaled A. Zekriya speaks English, Dari, Pashtu and is semi fluent in French and Spanish.