Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Ankara Summons Russian Ambassador to Turkey Over Second Airspace Violation

The Russian ambassador to Turkey has been summoned by the Turkish Foreign Ministry in Ankara for a second time over a repeated incident of the Russian Air Force violating the country’s airspace, a source in the Turkish Foreign Ministry said. “On October 4, a repeat violation of Turkey’s airspace by a Russian military aircraft occurred. On Monday, the Russian ambassador was again called into the foreign ministry where Turkish First Deputy Foreign Minister Ahmet Muhtar Gun expressed his sincere protest and demanded that measures be taken so as not to allow such incidences in the future,” the source told RIA Novosti.


Newsline: United States Breaks Ground on New US Embassy in Turkmenistan

In an important symbol of enduring friendship with Turkmenistan, U.S. Ambassador to Turkmenistan Allan Mustard and local officials broke ground on the new U.S. Embassy in Ashgabat. The multi-building campus will be situated on a 17.3-acre site. The campus will include an office building, a U.S. Marine Security Guard residence, a support annex, staff housing, and facilities for the Embassy community. Completion of the project is anticipated in July 2018.


Newsline: Russian embassy admits Russian warplane violates Turkish airspace

The Russian embassy on Monday admitted that a Russian warplane, apparently operating inside Syria, violated Turkish airspace over the weekend. “Such an incident took place,” the embassy said, according to the Interfax news agency. The Turkish military identified the plane as a MiG-29 fighter jet and said the aircraft locked radar and harassed two Turkish F-16 fighter jets that were patrolling the border with Syria. It was not immediately clear why Russia would be using a fighter jet, primarily designed for air-to-air combat, in Syria. Russia’s Defence Ministry has said it is using Sukhoi aircraft on bombing missions against the terrorist group Islamic State. Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Russia admitted it “mistakenly” violated Turkey’s airspace, and he issued a sharp warning that the country has clear rules of engagement on its border. Davutoglu stressed that lines of communication with Russia, a “friend,” are open and that the airspace violation would not cause tensions in the relations between Ankara and Moscow. Turkey earlier summoned the Russian ambassador and warned that if there were any future violations, Moscow “will be responsible for any undesired incident that may occur,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Turkish Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioglu contacted his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, to protest the incident.


Newsline: Jordan jails vet for Israel embassy bomb plot

A court in Jordan on Monday sentenced a veterinary surgeon to three years’ hard labour for plotting a suicide car bombing outside the Israeli embassy in Amman. The verdict was handed down by the state security court, an AFP journalist at the hearing said. The 54-year-old was arrested in September 2014 after his car exploded in the garage of his house in Irbid province north of the capital. The charges said that the vet, who had been experimenting with explosives, was planning the attack as a response to Israel’s deadly offensive in the Gaza Strip in July and August last year.


Newsline: Indian-origin diplomat appointed UK’s ambassador to Qatar

Ajay Sharma, an Indian-origin diplomat, will be the new British Ambassador to Qatar. Sharma, currently the charge d’affaires to Iran, will take up his new assignment in November, an official release said. He will succeed Nicholas Hopton, who will be transferred to another post, according to a release on the UK government’s website.Sharma has earlier served as the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) Head of Iran department and non-resident chargé d’affaires to Iran. Britain had reopened its embassy in Iran in August this year, four years after it was stormed and ransacked in November 2011 by activists angry over Britain imposing sanctions on Iran.


Newsline: Iran expels Bahrain envoy

Iran has expelled a senior official from Bahrain’s embassy in Tehran in apparent retaliation after the Sunni-ruled Gulf state did the same to its envoy in Manama. “The number two official in Bahrain’s embassy in Iran is persona non grata and Mr Bassam al-Dossari must leave Iran’s territory within 72 hours,” the official IRNA news agency quoted a foreign ministry statement as saying. Bahrain on Thursday recalled its ambassador from Iran and ordered Tehran’s envoy to leave within 72 hours, citing Iranian “interference” in its affairs. Iran has rejected “the baseless accusations from Bahrain”.


Newsline: Diplomat tells India to keep off Nepal affairs

A senior Nepali diplomat based in Kolkata, rather uncharacteristically, issued a veiled threat to India, stating that his country “would not hesitate to update the bigger powers in the region about the situation” if Delhi kept mounting pressure on Kathmandu. He was responding to a question about the present imbroglio related to the drafting of the country’s Constitution. The diplomat’s allusion to China, in language couched in diplomatic jargon, is an obvious warning to India. Perhaps this is the first time that a Nepali diplomat has used such strong language against India, at the same time hinting at the possibility of his country sending feelers to the super power in the region, China. The problem started on September 20 when Delhi proposed that the Madhesis, who constitute one-third of Nepal’s population, be accorded full citizenship and representation in the government and the security establishment. Nepal refused to accept the proposal, arguing that “naturalised citizens” were not allowed to head the government or security establishments. Eventually, the supply of goods from India to Nepal, including household items and fuel, was stopped. It is unclear if the movement of goods was officially stopped by India or by transporters owing to the disturbances on the border.



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