Archive for Regions
The city police were investigating who was responsible for planting a hoax bomb near the US Embassy. City police spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto said on Friday the police were now studying the embassy’s CCTV footage to find details. “We have deployed two teams from the Central Jakarta Police and a police bomb squad to find details about the hoax bomb and those who placed it near the embassy compound,” he said. Rikwanto said even though the action did not cause injury, it disturbed public order and security. It was previously reported that two street vendors called local police after seeing a suspicious box near the embassy. A bomb squad arrived with an X-ray device and found what appeared to be a detonator in a box.
People gathered outside the South African Embassy in Washington, D.C. to mourn the loss of Nelson Mandela. The Embassy plans to hold local events over the next few days to honor the life of Nelson Mandela. Nelson Mandela died at the age of 95 on Thursday after years of health issues. The statue of Mandela on Massachusetts Avenue in NW was unveiled in September. It is a replica of a statue outside the South African prison where Mandela spent 27 years of his life as a political prisoner for fighting against apartheid. Dozens of people flocked to the D.C. version of the statue, laying flowers, lighting candles and fighting back tears.
About 100 protesters in East Timor have thrown rocks at the Australian embassy, with police responding with tear gas as a spying row intensifies. East Timor has expressed outrage over reports that Australia secretly bugged ministerial deliberations in Dili in 2004 to gain leverage in negotiations on an oil and gas revenue-sharing deal. The protest followed a raid on Tuesday by Australian intelligence agents on the Canberra office of a lawyer representing East Timor in an arbitration case at The Hague over the deal. The protesters, mostly students and young Timorese rights activists, carried banners reading “Australia is a thief” and “Australia has no morals”, an AFP correspondent said. The embassy was guarded with just four police until a dozen more arrived and fired tear gas at demonstrators, saying they had no permit to protest. East Timor argues that the 50-50 profit-sharing deal of $A40 billion in proceeds from the Timor Sea’s resources should be torn up because of the alleged spying. The claims that Australia spied on East Timor and Indonesia are based on documents leaked by US intelligence fugitive Edward Snowden.
Russia voiced outrage Friday at charges in the United States against 49 current and former Russian diplomats and their wives over a $1.5 million fraud, saying it could not understand why the US had gone public with the allegations. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said in a statement to Russian news agencies that Moscow had many claims against the behaviour of US diplomats in Moscow but had preferred not to bring them into the public sphere. “We categorically reject the charges against the staff of Russian diplomatic institutions in the United States,” he was quoted as saying by the ITAR-TASS news agency, saying it was “illegal” for diplomats to have been watched by the authorities in this way. Ryabkov hinted that Russia had many allegations it could lay against American diplomatic staff if it so desired but said Moscow had preferred stay quiet. The scandal risks causing a new crisis in US-Russia relations which have already been scarred by Russia’s decision to grant asylum to US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden and a host of other issues. The alleged scam took place between 2004 and August 2013, when the suspects were based at the Russian mission to the United Nations, the Russian consulate and the Russian trade mission, all in New York. All the defendants have diplomatic immunity and none have been arrested following an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Venezuela’s embassy in Kenya used diplomatic bags to smuggle drugs, a witness in a trial over the murder of the mission’s ambassador told a Nairobi court. “I am aware that the embassy was used to traffic drugs using the diplomatic bag,” former embassy driver Kevin Lameck told the court in the Kenyan capital. Venezuelqn acting ambassador Olga Fonseca Gimenez, 57, was found strangled in her upmarket Nairobi home in July 2012. Dwight Sagaray, who was serving as first secretary at the embassy, is one of five people who appeared in court charged with Fonseca’s murder. Sagaray, understood to have been in charge of the embassy in the weeks before the murder, has been released on bail on condition he remains in Kenya. All the accused have denied the charges. The trial continues on April 2, 2014.
The Gambian Embassy in London was accused of smuggling cigarettes and expensive alcohols into the UK through diplomatic pouches. Diplomatic pouches are usually not subjected to searches. It has been gathered that the UK Foreign office has given waiver to all Embassies and Foreign Consulates accredited to the UK to be able to import limited amount of cigarettes and alcohol beverages for staff entertainment purposes, but it appears that the Gambian government has been abusing the tobacco and alcohol duty free privilege accorded to them by the British government. For seven consecutive years, some rogue Gambian diplomats hiding under the cover of “diplomatic impunity” have been allegedly smuggling large consignment of cigarettes and alcohol into the UK through diplomatic pouches. The matter later came to the attention of the UK intelligence services, who according to sources initiated an undercover operation sting to bust those behind the cigarette trade. This investigation went on for 7 years until this year when the British finally raided the Embassy in an attempt to arrest everyone. But because of diplomatic Immunity, they had trouble executing an arrest. Five embassy officials were waived their diplomatic immunity. They together with their British counterpart were detained for 3 days back in November and are due in court this coming March.
An Indian consulate visa centre has been ordered out of one of Birmingham’s most upmarket streets after complaints from its well-heeled residents. The service only moved to leafy Vicarage Road in Edgbaston – where houses sell for more than £1 million – in August. But residents said a lack of parking for customers had sparked chaos, with reports of vehicles parking in private bays and one-way signs ignored. There were also claims of people urinating in the street because there were not enough toilets. Now Birmingham City Council has ordered the service to leave its Vicarage Court base within two months.
The leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah has accused Saudi Arabia of being behind last month’s two suicide bombings that targeted the Iranian Embassy in Beirut. Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah’s comments mark the first time Hezbollah has openly accused the kingdom, and marks a sharp escalation in the Shia Muslim group’s rhetoric. An al-Qaeda linked group has claimed responsibility for the November 19 attack that killed 23 people, saying it was in response to Hezbollah and Iran’s involvement in Syria. Nasrallah said the claim was credible but accused Saudi intelligence of providing backing and support. He also said Saudi intelligence was behind daily attacks in Iraq. Nasrallah spoke in an interview Tuesday with Lebanon’s private OTV network.
The British government says it has sent its first diplomat to Iran since Britain closed its Tehran embassy amid tensions in 2011. The Foreign Office says its new non-resident charge d’affaires Ajay Sharma visited Tehran for talks with the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Britain withdrew its diplomats from Tehran in late 2011 after protesters stormed the building amid tensions over a possible attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Iran also closed its embassy in London. Relations have since improved in recent months. Sharma, a previous deputy head of mission to Tehran, said he visited the British Embassy Tuesday to look at the damage caused in 2011. He said he planned to visit Iran regularly to continue improving relations.
In a bid to bring the nation’s of Sudan and Japan closer together. Japanese diplomat Yasohiro Murotatsu, has done something this week that had never been done before, as he donned a tight-fitting blue singlet and took on one of the country’s infamously strong Nuba wrestlers. Murotatsu, a political officer at the Japanese embassy, faced a teenaged opponent on this occasion, and despite losing this time, Murotatsu, who speaks fluent Arabic, believes he has managed to secure a victory of sorts, helping to improve relations with a divided and war-torn land.