Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for April 7, 2012

Newsline: Britain closes embassy in Mali

Britain temporarily closed its embassy in Mali following an unstable situation in the country. “Given the unstable and unpredictable situation in Mali and the continuing lack of constitutional rule, the Britain has decided to temporarily withdraw its staff from its Embassy in Bamako and temporarily suspend all in country services immediately, including consular assistance,” Xinhua quoted a British Foreign Office spokesperson as saying. “Consular assistance will continue to be provided to British nationals from our embassy in Dakar,” the spokesperson added, but warning that its ability to help those who chose to remain in Mali “may become limited”. Last Saturday, the British Foreign Office had issued a warning to all British nationals in Mali, urging them to leave the west African country due to security concerns.



Newsline: Chinese embassy in Tehran syas crew of hijacked ship rescued

All 28 Chinese crew members on board a Chinese cargo ship hijacked by Somali pirates have been rescued, the Chinese embassy in Tehran said. The cargo ship, Xianghuamen, was hijacked by Somali pirates Friday morning in the Sea of Oman near Iran’s southern port of Chabahar, Xinhua reported. The vessel, registered in Panama, belongs to the Nanjing Ocean Shipping company in eastern China. The ship, setting sail from Shanghai, made a stopover in Singapore to unload some goods and then headed for the Imam Khomeini port in Iran when it was hijacked. At least nine Somali pirates climbed on to the cargo ship, fired gun shots and seized the Chinese crew members on board. Two Iranian naval warships took part in the rescue operation, and followed the vessel and ordered the pirates to surrender. The pirates later threw their weapons into the sea and surrendered to the Iranian navy. The Chinese embassy in Tehran has asked Iranian governmental departments to take all necessary measures to ensure the crew members’ safety.