Diplomatic Briefing

Your exclusive news aggregator handpicked daily!

Newsline: China fears envoy in Pakistan might be attacked, requests more security

The Chinese embassy in Pakistan has requested more security for its ambassador in the wake of information that he is likely to be attacked. Quoting sources, Express News reported that in a letter written to the interior ministry, the Chinese embassy has said that a terrorist had entered the country to attack Yao Jing. The embassy has requested the government to take immediate action on the intelligence information, and provide security to the ambassador.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/1537736/1-chinese-embassy-says-envoy-may-attacked-requests-security/

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Newsline: WHO boss ‘rethinking’ Mugabe goodwill ambassador post

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has said he is “rethinking” his decision to name Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe a goodwill ambassador in the face of growing criticism over the move. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director general of the UN health agency, had this week asked Zimbabwe’s 93-year-old leader to serve in the role to help tackle non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like heart attacks, strokes and asthma across Africa. The decision triggered confusion and anger among key WHO member states and opposition figures in Zimbabwe who noted that the country’s healthcare system, like many of its public services, has been rife with problems under Mugabe’s decades-long leadership. “I’m listening. I hear your concerns. Rethinking the approach in light of WHO values. I will issue a statement as soon as possible”, Tedros, a former Ethiopian health minister, said on Twitter.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/10/boss-rethinking-mugabe-goodwill-ambassador-post-171021210936407.html

Newsline: China summons British ambassador to Beijing

Beijing summoned London’s ambassador in a tit-for-tat protest stemming from Hong Kong’s denial of entry to a British human rights activist. The Chinese government decried “a raft of incorrect comments” coming out of London in recent days, in signs of increasingly strained Sino-British ties. Benedict Rogers was refused entry to the city upon arrival at Hong Kong International Airport on October 11. He was then put on a plane to Thailand, where he had just come from, and returned to London. He is deputy chairman of the British Conservative Party’s human rights commission and has long campaigned for rights and freedoms in Asia. He said Chinese representatives in Britain had earlier indirectly warned him against travelling to the city, fearing he would visit jailed pro-democracy activists, although he denied having such intentions.

http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/2116341/china-summons-british-ambassador-beijing-over-raft-incorrect

Newsline: UN lambasted after naming Robert Mugabe goodwill ambassador

The United Nations faced criticism on Friday after naming Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe a “goodwill ambassador” to promote health causes, despite the country’s dire health crisis under his rule. The UN World Health Organization asked Mugabe to serve in the role to help tackle non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as heart attacks, strokes and asthma across Africa. Mugabe, 93, was in Uruguay for the announcement by WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who said he was “honoured to announce that President Mugabe has agreed to serve as a goodwill ambassador on NCDs for Africa.” Tedros hailed Zimbabwe as “a country that places universal health coverage and health promotion at the centre of its policies to provide health care to all”. Zimbabwe’s healthcare system, like many of its public services, has collapsed under Mugabe’s authoritarian regime, with most hospitals out of stock of essential medicines and supplies, and nurses and doctors regularly left unpaid. The appointment angered international rights campaigners and opposition parties, who also accuse Mugabe of violent repression, election rigging and presiding over the country’s economic ruin.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/21/un-lambasted-after-naming-mugabe-goodwill-ambassador

Newsline: State Department says ambassador did not deny U.S. military request for personnel involved in Niger attack

The U.S. ambassador in Niger did not deny support for a U.S. Special Forces unit that lost four soldiers in a deadly ambush on the border between Mali and Niger on Oct. 4, the State Department said Friday. The Times reported Thursday that the ambassador had resisisted U.S. military requests for more drones or other surveillance aircraft and additional military medical support in Niger during the weeks and months leading up to the attack. “Did the ambassador in Niger deny support or protection for military personnel involved in the attack? No,” a State Department spokesman said in a statement. The U.S. Special Forces unit was part of a broader mission run by U.S. Africa Command to train Nigerien units to counter Islamic State and Al Qaeda-linked groups trying to gain a foothold in the region. The attack is currently being investigated by the U.S. military and the FBI.

http://www.latimes.com/politics/washington/la-na-pol-essential-washington-updates-state-department-says-ambassador-did-1508545438-htmlstory.html

Newsline: Dutch embassy in Libya reopens after three years

The Netherlands again has an ambassador in Libya. Ambassador Eric Stating arrived in the capital city of Tripoli and is busy setting up an office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced. The embassy in Tripoli closed in 2014 when the situation in Libya became too dangerous, NOS reports. Since then, the embassy for Libya is based in Tunis. This embassy will remain open in addition to the newly reopened embassy in Tripoli. In a statement, Minister Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs said that the Netherlands is committed to help restore stability in Libya. A civil war has raged in the country since 2011.

https://nltimes.nl/2017/10/19/dutch-embassy-libya-reopens-three-years

Newsline: Indian Embassy in US involved in search for missing girl in Texas

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has voiced “deep concern” over a three-year-old Indian girl in Texas who has been missing since October 7 after her foster father made her stand outside the house as punishment for not drinking milk. She said the Indian Embassy is actively involved in the search. “We are deeply concerned about the missing child. Indian Embassy in US is actively involved and they keep me informed,” Sushma Swaraj tweeted late on Thursday night. According to reports, Sherin Mathews had gone missing from her home in Richardson, Texas. Her father Wesley Mathews told police he’d sent his daughter — in her pyjamas at 3 a.m. on October 7 — to stand alone beneath a tree outside the home as “punishment for refusing to drink milk”. When he went to the spot after sometime, the girl was not there. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has joined the probe along with the police. The FBI has searched the Mathews’ house.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/india-abroad/indian-embassy-in-us-involved-in-search-for-missing-girl-in-texas.html