Diplomatic Briefing

Your exclusive news aggregator handpicked daily!

Archive for September 4, 2012

Newsline: UK urges Ecuador to resume talks over Assange

Foreign Secretary William Hague has urged Ecuador to resume talks “as early as possible” over the fate of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The Foreign Secretary, in an update on the case to MPs, said he believed a diplomatic solution could be found to the stand-off. In a recent TV interview broadcast in Ecuador, Assange said he believed it would take between six and 12 months for the issue to be resolved. Mr Hague said last week that “a solution is not in sight” to the row which has strained diplomatic relations with the South American country. But in a written statement to the Commons, Mr Hague expressed hope that progress could be made through renewed talks. There had already been seven formal discussions as well as “many other conversations and written exchanges” it the search for a solution, he told MPs. Any suggestion that extradition to Sweden posed a risk to Assange’s human rights was “completely unfounded” and had been “comprehensively rejected” by UK courts, he pointed out. And he said again that the UK was not “threatening” the Ecuadorian embassy and would fully abide by the 1961 Vienna Convention. Ecuador claimed that Britain threatened to storm its embassy after Foreign Office officials highlighted available powers to enter the building and make the arrest. “It is a matter of regret that instead of continuing our discussions, the Foreign Minister of Ecuador announced on August 16 that Ecuador had decided to grant diplomatic asylum,” Mr Hague said. “We wish to continue our dialogue with the government of Ecuador. We believe that our two countries should be able to find a diplomatic solution. “We have invited the government of Ecuador to resume, as early as possible, the discussions we have held on this matter to date.



Newsline: Diplomatic bag found in French Alps handed over to India

A 46-year-old diplomatic bag, found on Mont Blanc in the French Alps last month, was handed over to India by France but the contents were not immediately known. The jute bag, stamped “Diplomatic mail” and “Ministry of External Affairs”, was recovered by a mountain rescue worker on August 21 on Mont Blanc close to where an Air India plane flying from Mumbai to New York crashed in January 1966 killing all 117 on board, including top nuclear scientist Homi J. Bhabha. Satwant Khanalia, an official with India’s Embassy in Paris, took possession of the bag from the authorities at Chamonix town in the mountain base.


Newsline: South Korea reopens embassy in Bahrain

South Korea reopened its embassy in Bahrain for the first time yesterday since closing its last diplomatic mission here 21 years ago following a financial crisis. The country first opened an embassy in Bahrain in 1976. However, Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa said the countries had always maintained diplomatic ties, adding that they would only improve with the opening of the new mission. “We have been in diplomatic relations for the last 36 years and we have both benefitted from each other’s expertise,” he said at the opening of the South Korean Embassy in Salmaniya. Korean Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Kyou-Hyun said Bahrain and Korea have strengthened friendly co-operation since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1976. “I do not think the 21-year gap is a stumbling block for the development of our friendly bilateral ties.