Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: ISIL Allegedly Opens First Embassy In Turkey’s Ankara

The Turkish daily Aydinlik said in a report that the consulate was founded in the Cankaya district of the capital Ankara. The militants are said to be operating freely inside the country without much problem. Other reports said the members of the Takfiri group have rented luxurious houses in the upscale neighborhood of the capital and Istanbul and use them for residence or as offices. The terrorists are said to be using minibuses with black windows to get around the city. The ISIL Takfiri terrorists currently control parts of Syria and Iraq. They have threatened all communities, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, Christians, Izadi Kurds and others, as they continue their atrocities in Iraq. Senior Iraqi officials have blamed Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and some Persian Gulf Arab states for the growing terrorism in their country. The United States started conducting airstrikes on the ISIL only after US interests were threatened by the militants.


Newsline: Spanish diplomat stabbed to death in Sudan

A Spanish diplomat has been found dead in his apartment in the affluent Garden City neighborhood of the Sudanese capital Khartoum. Sudan’s interior ministry said in a statement that the diplomat was apparently stabbed to death. “The 61-years old official headed the Spanish embassy’s visa section and had worked in the country for three years”, the statement said.A maid who worked at the apartment found the body and reported the death early on Monday morning. Sudan’s foreign ministry identified the diplomat as Emiliano Garcia in a separate statement. It described the diplomat’s death as a “regrettable incident” and underscored that the government is firmly committed to protecting all foreign diplomats in Sudan. The Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation confirmed “with regret” the death of their diplomat adding that they remain in contact with the Sudanese Foreign Ministry, police and judicial authorities who are leading the investigation. Earlier this year Russia’s consul and his wife have been stabbed in Khartoum outside the embassy’s gates by a man from the Central African Republic (CAR). According to the Sudanese police, the attacker mistakenly thought that the couple belonged to one of the western countries that sent troops to CAR recently.


Newsline: Guatemala Ex-Police on Trial in 1980 Embassy Fire

A former police officer went on trial Wednesday charged in the deaths of 37 people more than three decades ago when the Spanish Embassy burned down during this Central American nation’s bloody civil conflict. Pedro Garcia Arredondo, the 69-year-old former special investigations chief for the Sixth Commando of the National Police, is accused of homicide and crimes against humanity for allegedly ordering officers to keep anyone from leaving the diplomatic mission as it burned on Jan. 31, 1980. Protesters from Indian, student, peasant, labor and other groups had taken over the embassy to call attention to massacres during the 1960-96 civil war. Police surrounded and sealed the facility. When the fire broke out, Arredondo “ordered police agents under his command to destroy windows with the only intention of causing the death of those inside because they were considered internal enemies,” prosecutor Hilda Pineda said. “The people inside were screaming in pain because they were burning.” Arredondo declined to testify but proclaimed his innocence in brief remarks. Former Spanish Ambassador Maximo Cajal y Lopez, who survived the fire, died earlier this year. However, he left testimony that will be presented at the trial along with the accounts of at least 23 other witnesses.


Newsline: Argentine President lashes out at US interim ambassador for ‘provocative’ report on crime in Argentina

Argentine President questioned the warning message issued on Tuesday by the US Embassy in Buenos Aires, saying it is “in line” with anti-government media, and seriously doubting interim ambassador in Buenos Aires Kevin Sullivan’s intentions with the note. The security message said US citizens have reported a number of crimes to the embassy and it went on to recommend that US citizens traveling and living in Argentina should “always be aware of their surroundings and maintain a high level of vigilance”. “The note is a provocation. Usually, when the embassy issues this type of warning messages, it focuses on specific events such as political rallies or hostage situations which can be dangerous to US citizens,” the Argentine president explained. “In this case, the threat is not specific. It describes Argentina as if we were living in the far-west,” she added, and went on to doubt US interim ambassador in Buenos Aires Kevin Sullivan’s intentions with the note. “Let me tell you, I’m not mad and they are not going to make me furious, as president of the 40 million Argentines, the first thing I demand is respect, that they respect us as a country”.


Newsline: US Embassy Issues Warning After Clashes in Myanmar

The US Embassy on Wednesday issued a warning to its citizens traveling in eastern Myanmar after clashes between the military and ethnic minority rebels. Various rebels groups have battled the central government in Burma since shortly after its independence in 1948. While the government has in recent years struck ceasefires with almost all factions, clashes occasionally flare up. The US Embassy said incidents over the past week included a rocket-propelled grenade attack on a bus in Karen State and the discovery of two improvised explosive devices in the Karen State town of Myawaddy on the border with Thailand. “If you see something suspicious, leave the area immediately and report it to local authorities,” the embassy posted on its Twitter account. “Do not touch, move, or tamper with any suspicious package.”


Newsline: Man Arrested After Shots Fired Near Ethiopian Embassy in Washington

The U.S. Secret Service has arrested a man who officers believe fired a gun near the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington. U.S. Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary said in an emailed statement that Secret Service officers received a report of shots fired near the embassy around 12:15 p.m. Monday. When they arrived, officers detained a man believed to be the shooter. The man’s name was not released. The Secret Service said there were no reported injuries as a result of the incident.


Newsline: US Embassy gate crash driver found not guilty in Australia

A man who rammed the front gates of the United States Embassy in Yarralumla last year has escaped conviction on mental health grounds. Adrian Richardson, 30, absconded from the mental health unit at the Canberra Hospital when he drove his orange Peugeot hatchback into the embassy’s main security gate on the evening of July 10, 2013. He previously pleaded not guilty to intentionally destroying or damaging an official residence of an internationally protected person and appeared during a brief trial in the ACT Supreme Court on Tuesday. Justice John Burns told the court the case was unusual because both Crown prosecutors and Richardson’s defence team agreed on the facts of the incident and were arguing he should not be found guilty. The court heard Richardson had left the hospital’s mental health high dependency unit, where he was treated as an in-patient for five days, before he drove towards the embassy. He revved the car’s engine and accelerated into the 3.4 metre-high gates, which caused significant damage to the gates and breached the embassy’s perimeter. Richardson, who is from Queensland, was stopped by police and security guards when he got out of the car unharmed. Mental health professionals diagnosed Mr Richardson with a psychotic illness and said he suffered from a delusional disorder, the court heard. The court heard the embassy gates were later replaced at a cost of $15,200. The jury deliberated for just 15 minutes before delivering its verdict. It found Richardson not guilty due to mental impairment.



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