Diplomatic Briefing

Your exclusive news aggregator handpicked daily!

Newsline: Saudi Embassy Confirms UK Attacker Had Been in Saudi Arabia

The man who killed four people outside Britain’s Parliament was in Saudi Arabia three times and taught English there, the Middle Eastern country’s embassy said. A Saudi Embassy statement released late Friday said that Khalid Masood taught English in Saudi Arabia from November 2005 to November 2006 and again from April 2008 to April 2009. The embassy said that he had a work visa. It said he returned for six days in March 2015 on a trip booked through an approved travel agent. The Saudi Embassy said that he wasn’t tracked by the country’s security services and didn’t have a criminal record there.

https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2017-03-25/saudi-embassy-confirms-uk-attacker-had-been-in-saudi-arabia

Newsline: New Zealand to open embassy in Ireland

New Zealand has announced plans to open its first embassy in Dublin. At present, the country is represented here by the New Zealand High Commission in London. However, there is a New Zealand Honorary Consulate-General in the capital. An estimated 14,000 Irish-born people live in New Zealand, while approximately one-in-six New Zealanders claim Irish heritage – out of a total population of 4.7 million.

http://www.newstalk.com/reader/47.301/95697/0/

Newsline: Australian embassy site in Thailand up for sale

The site of the Australian embassy in Sathorn area, almost eight rai of land, is being offered for sale by expression of interest, according to the appointed sole agent JLL. The compound covers 12,728 square metres of freehold land on South Sathorn Road, one of Bangkok’s prime commercial and residential addresses. The closing date for offers is early June.

http://www.bangkokpost.com/business/news/1219933/australian-embassy-site-on-sathorn-road-up-for-sale

Newsline: Police activity reported near US Embassy in London

There are reports of police activity near the US Embassy in Mayfair. The FT has reported “significant police activity” with surround streets closed to traffic and workers in nearby office buildings being told to stay indoors. The Metropolitan Police said they were called out to reports of a suspicious vehicle but the incident has since been stood down. There is a heavy police presence on the streets of the capital today following a terrorist attack at Westminster yesterday afternoon. The incident, in which an attacker drove along the pavement of Westminster Bridge and then stabbed a police officer, left four people dead. The assailant was shot by police.

http://www.cityam.com/261558/reports-police-activity-near-us-embassy-london

Newsline: Turkey summons Russian envoy

The Russian Embassy in Ankara is not commenting on the summoning of Russia’s Charge d’Affaires Sergei Panov to the Turkish Foreign Ministry in connection with the death of a Turkish serviceman near the Syrian border, Irina Kasimova, a spokeswoman of the embassy, told Sputnik on Thursday. Earlier in the day, Turkish authorities summoned Panov after Turkey’s General Staff said one of its soldiers had been killed near the Syrian border by a sniper from Kurdish-controlled northern Syria. “The embassy does not comment on this information,” the spokeswoman said. According to the Turkish Foreign Ministry, Russia, as one of the guarantors of ceasefire in Syria, is responsible for helping maintain the ceasefire regime on the Syrian-Turkish border, where the soldier was killed on Wednesday.

https://sputniknews.com/politics/201703231051883114-russia-turkey-diplomat-summoning/

Newsline: North Korean suspect in Jong-nam’s murder is son of ex-envoy to Vietnam

A North Korean suspect in the killing of Kim Jong-nam is reportedly the son of a former top North Korean envoy to Vietnam, and he allegedly lured a Vietnamese female suspect to join the plot to kill the estranged half-brother of North Korea’s leader. Ri Ji Hyon, 33, is the son of former North Korean ambassador to Hanoi, Ri Hong, and had lived in Vietnam for about 10 years, Yonhap news agency quoted sources as saying on Wednesday. Ji Hyon worked as a trainee diplomat at the North Korean embassy for more than one year and he also worked as an interpreter, according to the sources. Using his fluent Vietnamese, he lured Doan Thi Huong into the plot to kill Jong-nam while the latter was waiting to board a flight to Macau at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) on Feb 13, according to Yonhap. The Vietnamese woman and Indonesian Siti Aisyah allegedly smeared banned chemical weapon VX nerve agent on Jong-nam’s face. They have been charged with murder but they claim they were told that the act was a prank on a reality show. Ji Hyon is among four North Korean suspects who left Malaysia on the day Jong-nam was murdered and they are believed to have returned to Pyongyang. Interpol has issued a red notice to track down and arrest them.

http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/03/22/north-korean-suspect-in-jong-nams-murder-is-son-of-ex-envoy-to-vietnam-report/

Newsline: Arab ‘diplomatic boycott’ suggested if US moves embassy to Jerusalem

Every Muslim state should close their embassy in the United States if the Trump administration moves the US embassy to Jerusalem, the president of the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union (AIPU) said. Nabih Berri, also speaker of the Lebanese Parliament, said President Trump may not postpone a US-congress decision to move the embassy, at a conference in Rabat, Morocco. “We must call for Palestinian national unity, its return to a central issue in the Arab consciousness and the building of trusting relationships between Muslim neighbours,” Berri said. Berri said that the decision to move the embassy required a “strong reaction” from a unified Muslim world, which would require “at the very least”, the closure of embassies.

https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2017/3/21/arab-diplomatic-boycott-if-us-moves-embassy-to-jerusalem