Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for April 17, 2012

Newsline: Bahrain urges Britain to protect kingdom’s embassy

Bahrain’s foreign ministry has urged Britain to protect its embassy in London as a rooftop protest against the Gulf kingdom’s Sunni rulers stretched into its second day. Scotland Yard said that the two activists who climbed to the top of the Bahraini embassy remained on the building Tuesday, a chilly, rainy day in the British capital. Bahrain’s foreign ministry called on Britain to provide the “necessary protection for the embassy premises and its diplomats,” urging it to take legal action against the two protesters.



Newsline: Syrian opposition plans to set up embassy in Libya

The Syrian National Council (SNC) is making preparations to send representation to the Libyan capital of Tripoli in several weeks, a news report said on Tuesday. Libya was one of the first countries to recognize the SNC as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people after the meeting of the “Friends of Syria” in İstanbul at the beginning of April. The Libyan National Transitional Council promised in March deliver $100 million in aid to the SNC and stated that the Syrian opposition could open up representative offices in Libya. SNC’s Libya representative Enes al-Khalid said the Syrian Embassy in Libya was currently closed and that an inauguration ceremony for the office for the new mission would be held in a few weeks. In February, Syrian opposition members entered the Syrian Embassy in Tripoli and hoisted their own flag. Libya then asked the Syrian ambassador to leave the country, and Syrian diplomats left Tripoli following protests against the Syrian regime.


Newsline: Foreigner Embassy Officials Publish Book in China

The content of the book generates on interviews on 41 ambassadors, coming from different countries. They worked and lived in China, so they are the witnesses of the country’s transformation. Each interview includes 6-10 questions, covering a wide range of topics key to current situation, including international financial crisis, human rights, livelihood issues, ecological environment, cultural communication, and China’s development.


Newsline: Bahraini Embassy roof protester threatened to jump

A protester who has climbed on to the roof of the Bahraini Embassy in central London threatened to jump. Moosa Satrawi is highlighting the imprisonment and treatment of prominent human rights activist, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja and Hasan Mushaima, the leader of a banned political party in Bahrain. Mr Mushaima’s son, Ali Mushaima, was also on the roof. The Metropolitan police said officers were at the embassy in Belgrave Square, which has been closed. The embassy said the situation was handled by the police.


Newsline: Fresh security review of Kabul embassy area

The well-coordinated, 18-hour terror attacks in Kabul that targeted the Afghan Parliament, Western embassies and Nato forces, has once again forced a security review of Indian assets in Afghanistan. Afghan interior minister Bismillah Mohammadi told reporters in Kabul on Monday that one of the arrested militants revealed to authorities that the al-Qaeda-linked Haqqani network was behind the fierce attacks. The Haqqanis — referred to as a ‘veritable arm’ of Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) by former top US official Mike Mullen — have repeatedly targeted the Indian embassy in Kabul and kept its four consulates in Afghanistan on their radar. The Haqqanis are the prime suspects of the July 2008 attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul that killed 58 people, including the defence attaché, a senior diplomat and security guards, and another attack in 2009 that killed 17 people. Senior Kabul-based officials told HT on the telephone that while the Indian embassy — located 3 km from one of the places attacked on Sunday — was not the target, “it was only a question of luck”. Several crucial steps have been taken to secure India’s assets. These include special surveillance by the Afghan interior ministry in the area surrounding the Indian embassy in Kabul. Though the Afghans, Indians and Americans share intelligence, Sunday’s attacks point to the stark fact that rockets blasted the fortified diplomatic zone with impunity and no prior intelligence. After a Lashkar-e-Taiba-sponsored 26/11-type attack in 2010 on two guesthouses where Indians were staying, a fortified complex to house Indian staff was commissioned. It is near completion and will be protected by the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, which is already present at the Kabul embassy and four consulates.


Newsline: Ukrainian MP arrested in Israel, transferred to embassy

A senior Ukrainian member of parliament was arrested in Tel Aviv on suspicion of domestic violence. The lawmaker was later transferred to the Ukrainian embassy compound because he has diplomatic immunity. Police were alerted to a hotel in central Tel Aviv after loud screams were heard from the room in which the Ukrainian MP, who was apparently intoxicated, allegedly beat his wife and son. The Foreign Ministry confirmed the report and said the MP is scheduled to leave Israel in the coming days.