Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for March 1, 2017

Newsline: All 113 ambassadors will return to Australia to finalise the government’s new foreign policy

Every ambassador abroad is set to return to Australia to finalise the Turnbull government’s new foreign policy. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, all 113 heads of mission, including high commissioners and consuls-general, will be sent to Canberra next month to roadmap Australia’s strategic position on the global stage. Discussions will also help shape the Foreign Policy White Paper, due to be delivered later this year. It is the first time a foreign minister has ordered the entire group back home at once. “At a time of significant global uncertainty, it is vital that Australia harness the experience and intellect of our most senior diplomats,” minister Julie Bishop told Fairfax Media. “This meeting will be important in strengthening Australia’s influence and standing in the world.” The recall is estimated to cost $1.1 million in flights and accommodation, and $70,000 in venues. The money will be taken from existing budgets.



Newsline: Nigerians Storm South Africa Embassy, Demand Suspension Of Ambassador

Nigerians, under the aegis of Advocates for Collective Transformation and Youth Empowerment Initiative, took the protest against attacks on Nigerians in South Africa to the country’s Embassy on Molade Okoya Thomas Street, Victoria Island, Lagos State. The protesters, who were mostly youths, occupied the frontage of the embassy, singing solidarity songs. Expressing their displeasure at the destruction and looting of business ventures owned by Nigerians in South Africa, they called on the Federal Government to shut down the South African high commission offices in the country. They also demanded that the government suspended the South African ambassador to Nigeria and other officials until the safety of Nigerians in South Africa could be guaranteed. Some persons, believed to be officials of the embassy, observed the protest from the barred gate of the embassy and took some photos.


Newsline: Bulgaria’s Ex-Ambassador to US Says Her Detention in Poland Was ‘Misunderstanding’

Elena Poptodorova, who on Tuesday was detained at the airport in Warsaw with unpaid cosmetics from a duty-free shop, denied having stolen the goods. The Bulgarian News Agency quotes Poptodorova as saying she had received a call from her sick mother and went out of the shop to accept it there with the cosmetics in her hands. Reportedly, Poptodorova, who has not served at the Foreign Ministry over the past year, showed her diplomatic passport to authorities. She has been Sofia’s Ambassador to Washington for a total of 12 years, two times between 2002 and 2008 and 2010-2016. After leaving her second posting there, she was appointed head of the Warsaw office of Global Jewish Advocacy, a non-profit.