Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for September 6, 2011

Newsline: Britain sends team to re-establish embassy inTripoli

The UK has sent a team to Tripoli to re-establish an embassy inLibyaaround six months after it was closed at the start of the uprising against Muammar Gaddafi’s regime. Confirming the development, William Hague, secretary of state for foreign and Commonwealth affairs, said it was “another significant step” and reflected the increased stability in the Libyan capital. He said the team would strengthen ties with the new regime and help address humanitarian needs in the Tripoli area. At the start of the crisis in February, the UK’s diplomatic base was moved to rebel-held Benghazi. Staff from the foreign office and the department for international development are among those returning toTripoli, with British diplomat Dominic Asquith temporarily standing in for special representative John Jenkins. France and Italy have also said they are moving their embassies back inTripoli, but the NTC is still currently based in Benghazi.




Newsline: Cuba Pulls Diplomats Out of Libya

The Cuban Foreign Ministry announced the withdrawal of its diplomatic personnel from the island’s embassy in Libya.Cubahas strongly opposed the foreign military intervention in the North African nation. In its statement to the media, the Cuban government maintains that “the foreign intervention and military aggression by NATO has worsened the conflict and kept the Libyan people from being able to work towards a negotiated and peaceful solution making full use of their self-determination.” “Cubadoes not recognize the National Transition Council or any provisional authority and will only recognize a government that is established legitimately and without foreign intervention, via the free, sovereign will of the Libyan people,” emphasizes the foreign ministry statement. Cuba further accuses NATO of using the pretext of protecting civilian lives to intervene and then “preceding to kill thousands of civilians” while “not recognizing constructive initiatives off the African Union and other countries and even violating the questionable resolutions of the US Security Council, in particular with the attack on civilian objectives, the financing and supply of weapons to one party, as well as the deployment of diplomatic and operative personnel in the field.” Cuba further denounced that the NATO is moving towards creating similar conditions for an intervention in Syria and demands an end to foreign interference in that Arab country.



Newsline: FBI allegedly Wiretapped Israeli Embassy

A blogger has told The New York Times that an FBI translator gave him transcripts of conversations that were recorded by FBI wiretaps in the Israeli Embassy inWashington. The translator, Shamai Leibowitz, was sentenced last year to 20 months in prison after pleading guilty to leaking classified documents. FBI officials would not describe what information was leaked. Richard Silverstein, who writes a blog on Israeli-Arab relations, told the Times he received about 200 pages from Leibowitz. He says they included transcripts of telephone calls and conversations from the Israeli Embassy, including one in which Israeli officials express concerns that they are being monitored. In a story on the Times website Monday, Silverstein said Leibowitz leaked the documents because he was concerned about Israeli efforts to influence U.S. lawmakers.