Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Turkish embassy in Moscow says Russian authorities target Turkey’s citizens

Following downing of a Russian warplane by Turkish jets on Nov. 24, Turkish citizens living in Russia have been the target of Russian authorities. The Turkish embassy in Moscow issued a call for Russian authorities to cease targeting Turkish citizens living in Russia. According to the statement issued by Turkish embassy, it has been receiving a number of calls from Turkish citizens in various parts of Russia complaining of harassment by Russian authorities. “After we acquired the necessary details about the incidents, we demanded an explanation from Russian authorities about the complaints and asked them to halt the pressure put on Turkish citizens,” read the statement. Turkey’s Foreign Ministry asked early on Saturday its citizens to delay non-urgent and non-significant trips to Russia amid strained relations between the two countries.


Newsline: Indian embassy’s car torched in Nepal

A car belonging to the Indian embassy in Kathmandu has been vandalized and torched at Lajimpat on Saturday morning. The car with registration number 22 CD was torched and vandalized when the car was parked at a road. It is said that an official of the Indian embassy in Kathmandu had been traveling in the car. However, no one was injured in the accident. Though the Netra Bikram Chanda led Maoist has not claimed officially, it is suspected that the cadres of the Maoist faction would have vandalized and torched the car. The splinter faction of the Maoist has launched a campaign to torch and vandalize the Indian number plate vehicles on the name of protesting the border blockade.


Newsline: Angry Cubans protest outside Ecuador’s embassy in Havana over new visa rule

Hundreds of furious Cubans chanting and brandishing air tickets protested Friday outside Ecuador’s embassy in Havana over new visa restrictions designed to stop Cuban migrants traveling through the region to the United States. It comes with 3,000 Cubans languishing at Costa Rica’s border with Nicaragua after that country closed its border to them, triggering a regional crisis over what to do with desperate Cubans traveling through South and Central America in the hopes of making it to the US. Police watched on as about 500 people demanded they be refunded the money they had forked out for the air tickets, with the new Ecuadoran visa restrictions expected to come into effect on Tuesday. The demonstrators were careful not to directly blame the government of Ecuador, which is a close ally of Cuban President Raul Castro. Rafael Correa’s government justified the new visa measure as an attempt to discourage the illegal migration of Cubans who use Ecuador as a springboard to travel to the United States on a long and dangerous journey. The Ecuadoran consul in Havana, Soraya Encalada, had little sympathy. “It is beyond our control whether or not people have been able to reschedule their flight dates,” he said.


Newsline: Russian embassy in Damascus shelled again

Russia’s Embassy in Damascus was again shelled and a mortar shell landed on its territory, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said opening talks with his Syrian counterpart Walid Muallem in Moscow on Friday. “Thank you for your efforts to ensure the safety of our diplomatic mission in Damascus and our citizens in Syria as a whole,” he said. “On November 23 a mortar shell fell on the embassy’s territory again.” This is the third case of the shelling of the Russian diplomatic mission this autumn. On September 20, a mortar shell fell on the territory of the embassy without hurting anyone. On October 13, the embassy was subjected to shelling as well.


Newsline: Remarks of US ambassador spark protest in Thailand

Dozens of demonstrators gathered at the United States embassy in Bangkok on Friday to protest against new American ambassador Glyn Davies’ criticism of Thailand’s lese majeste law. A few dozen police officers stood in front of the embassy as protesters held placards saying “This is Thailand, not the USA” and “Go, Go Home” accusing the envoy of meddling in the country’s domestic affairs. On Wednesday Mr Davies expressed concern about prison terms handed down under Section 112 of the Criminal Code, the lese majeste law.


Newsline: Activists hurl stones, eggs at Turkish embassy in Moscow

Several hundred young activists hurled stones and eggs at Turkey’s embassy in Moscow and brandished anti-Turkish placards after Ankara downed a Russian warplane on the Syrian border. The activists threw eggs, paint and paper planes at the diplomatic mission and broke several windows as Moscow police urged them to stop the protest but did not intervene, an AFP photographer reported from the scene. Some chanted “We will not forget, we will not forgive” and also yelled slurs directed at Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. After the rowdy protest, demonstrators left behind heaps of rubbish and broken glass. A Moscow police spokesman told AFP he was not aware of any incidents involving the Turkish diplomatic mission and the embassy was not immediately available for comment. Ties between Moscow and Ankara unravelled after NATO member Turkey shot down a Russian warplane on the Turkish-Syrian border on Tuesday, saying it had violated Turkish airspace.


Newsline: Sudanese Embassy accuses Egyptian police of abusing its citizens

The Sudanese Embassy in Cairo has accused Egyptian authorities of unlawfully detaining and beating 16 Sudanese over the past six weeks, charges denied by Egypt. Embassy spokesman Mohamed Gebara said Wednesday that the 16 were also “psychologically tortured,” without providing further details. He was elaborating on an earlier report by the Sudanese state-run news agency SUNA, which quoted Khartoum’s foreign minister, Ibrahim Ghandour, as saying he had proof of unspecified abuses. Egypt’s Foreign Ministry denied the accusations. Gebara says he is surprised by Cairo’s denial. He says the two countries had agreed on Tuesday to investigate the matter. Twenty Sudanese migrants were shot dead in separate incidents this month along the Egyptian border as they tried to cross into Israel during shootouts between Egyptian forces and smugglers.



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