Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for July 28, 2011

Newsline: German embassy demands Thai compensation

The German embassy has demanded on its website that the Thai government compensate Walter Bau Co for alleged contractual violations to Don Muang Tollway Co in which Walter Bau was a shareholder. The Thai government said it was inappropriate for the German government to make such a demand when the legal dispute had not yet been settled. The Foreign Ministry has written to the embassy, complaining about it posting the demand. The German government had based its demand for Thailand to pay 36 million euro in compensation (1.55 billion baht) to Walter Bau based on an international arbitration panel’s decision in Geneva, while the Thai government was in the process of appealing an order by the US District Court in New York that Thailand should pay up. The court ruled in favour of Walter Bau in March 2010 and the government would appeal against the decision. Walter Bau filed a claim with theGerman Civil Court seeking enforcement of the arbitration ruling. The court ordered the seizure of HRH Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn’s plane at Munich airport earlier this month to force the government to pay.




Newsline: Britain to expel Libyan diplomats, back rebels and unfreeze assets

Britain, which expelled Libya’s ambassador to London in May, has told the remaining nine diplomats to pack their bags. The move to recognise the rebel opposition asLibya’s only legitimate governing body follows a similar decision by the United Statesand a group of world powers earlier this month in Istanbul. “The prime minister and I have decided that theUnited Kingdomrecognises and will deal with the National Transitional Council as the sole governmental authority inLibya,” Hague told reporters. “This decision reflects the NTC’s increasing legitimacy, competence and success in reaching out to Libyans across the country.” Analysts said the measures were unlikely to have much of an immediate impact on the ground inLibya. Hague saidBritainis continuing to explore how to unfreeze assets to support the rebels, in line with a UN Security Council resolution. As part of measures to support the rebels, Hague said Britain will unfreeze £91 million (€103.7m) of assets held in Britain for the rebel-held oil company AGOCO and seek to release more funds for civilian purposes.



Newsline: FBI arrests man suspected of bomb hoax in Miami

The FBI has arrested a man suspected of causing a bomb hoax in Miami near the downtown Israeli Consulate. Authorities say 52-year-old William Rolland will likely face federal charges for giving false information involving a bomb or dangerous device. Police closed some streets in Miami on Monday for about two hours. Offices were not evacuated. The FBI says Rolland made a threat about a bomb during an incident with the consulate’s security. The bomb squad inspected a case Rolland was carrying but found nothing dangerous. It wasn’t immediately clear from court records whether Rolland had an attorney. Prosecutors say formal charges are expected to be filed. If convicted, Rolland could get up to five years in prison.