Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for March 22, 2011

Newsline: Attack near Indian embassy in Libya

The military offensive mounted by Britain, France and the United States against the Gaddafi regime in Libya has resulted in bombs and shelling near the Indian embassy in Tripoli, according to the Indian envoy there. However, no damage has been caused to the chancery building or the embassy comples, said Indian ambassador M Manimekalai. Manimekalai said civilians had been killed in the bombing by air force planes and missile attacks from naval vessels in the Mediterranean. She received confirmation of this from Indian nurses working in hospitals in capital Tripoli. Manimekalai, however, stated she had not received any reports of deaths among Indians still in Libya.



Newsline: Iraq parties call to close Bahrain and UAE embassies

Sadr Front’s Ahrar Bloc believes the call of Iraqiya Bloc MP Haidar Al Mulla to close Iranian Embassy in Iraq is alarming and gives way for sectarian strife. Ahrar MP Youssef Al Hajim affirmed that Mulla’s criticism of parties calling to close Bahrain and UAE embassies in Baghdad expresses his personal view and does not speak for Iraqiya bloc. Iranian Embassy did not act against Iraq, nor Iran invaded a neighboring country or interfered in the economy and politics of other nations, Hajim argued. Calls to close Bahrain and UAE embassies came on account of freedom oppression in Bahrain while the Iranian government never resorted to such actions, Hajim said.



Newsline: Norway’s Tokyo embassy staff moved south

Norway’s foreign ministry heightened its warnings against staying in Japan, as new concerns of nuclear contamination gripped the northern part of the country including Tokyo. While Japanese officials in Oslo thanked Norwegians for their support, Norwegian embassy staff in Tokyo moved south. The foreign ministry announced that personnel at the Norwegian embassy in Tokyo were being moved temporarily to Kobe, south of the capital. Kobe, itself struck by a fatal earthquake in the 1990s, was believed to be out of harm’s way if radiation spreads from nuclear power plants damaged in the devastating quake and tsunami that hit northern Japan on March 11. The ministry is also now warning all Norwegians against staying in Tokyo as well as in areas north of the capital. The warning is linked to the “unclear situation” surrounding the nuclear power plants and fears that wind will send radiation towards Tokyo. Staff at the Norwegian Embassy will be moving to Norway’s consulate in Kobe but would continue to remain accessible for Norwegians still in Japan. The ministry had set up special flights over the weekend to help Norwegians trying to leave the quake-hit country.



Newsline: Slovenian Embassy Staying in Tokyo

The Slovenian embassy in Japan will remain in Tokyo and is not moving to Osaka as indicated on March 18. The Foreign Ministry’s assessment remains that the embassy is needed the most in Tokyo, where it can best help Slovenian nationals with information and logistics, the ministry stated.