Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for June, 2017

Newsline: Netherlands to reopen embassy in Libya

The Dutch government is to reopen its Tripoli embassy. The news was broken to Presidency Council (PC) head Faiez Serraj and Government of National Accord (GNA) foreign minister Mohamed Siala at a dinner tonight in the Hague during their two-day visit to Holland. Their host, Dutch foreign minister Bert Koenders, flanked by ambassador Eric Strating, is understood to have said that diplomats will move from Tunis back to Tripoli in September or October. The envoys were pulled out in July 2014 as security collapsed after the Libya Dawn takeover in the capital. Holland’s NPO Radio 1 broadcast this evening that Koenders had admitted that security in Tripoli still left much to be desired. But he said returning Dutch diplomats to Libya was an important first step.

https://www.libyaherald.com/2017/06/29/dutch-to-reopen-tripoli-embassy/

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Newsline: British Embassy in Kathmandu reinforced after quake

UK contractor Gilbert-Ash has finished a £1m fit out project on the British Embassy compound in earthquake-hit Kathmandu, Nepal. In the wake of the 2015 Gorkha earthquake, which killed 9,000 people, the 22-week project included design, fit-out and seismic reinforcement. Nepal has been rebuilding since the devastating earthquake, which caused widespread structural damage. Belfast-headquartered Gilbert-Ash worked with local structural engineers for whom earthquakes are a common occurrence.

http://www.globalconstructionreview.com/news/british-embassy-kathmandu-reinforced-after-quake/

Newsline: China says Australia spying on embassy

The Australian government has been spying on China’s embassy in the country and “harassing” Chinese people to provide intelligence, an influential state-run newspaper said on Thursday, citing a security source. China and Australia have close business and economic ties, but Beijing is deeply suspicious of Canberra’s defense relationship with Washington. Quoting an unidentified official with “China’s national security department”, the Global Times tabloid said the Australian government was spying on China and monitoring Chinese people in Australia. “The national security department staffer said Australia’s agents in disguise would get close to Chinese people working or living overseas to collect information or even encourage them to subvert China,” the report said. “Meanwhile, in the name of avoiding ‘Chinese spy threats’, Australian intelligence operatives are closely monitoring Chinese people and the Chinese Embassy in Australia,” it said. The report said “many” Chinese people had been interviewed or harassed and were being required to give information about Chinese communities and the Chinese embassy. “Some of the Chinese people were even sent back to China to gather information,” it said.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-australia-idUSKBN19K05B?il=0

Newsline: UAE ambassador threatens further sanctions against Qatar

The Gulf states demanding that Qatar ends its independent-minded foreign policy and alleged support for extremism have said they are considering further economic pressure on the tiny country, such as reducing commercial links with states that continue to trade with Doha. The warning, the latest escalation in the three-week dispute, was made by Omar Ghobash, the United Arab Emirates’ ambassador to Moscow and one of the most articulate figures in the row that has racked the region. Speaking to the Guardian, he said the coalition would be willing to make themselves subject to the same western monitoring regime as Qatar to ensure key figures were not privately funding extremist groups. The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain have imposed an economic and diplomatic embargo on Qatar, claiming its ruling family has been harbouring terrorists and funding extremism for years. They have tabled 13 demands, and said Qatar must comply by next week or face further as yet unspecified consequences. The demands include cutting ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, closing the broadcaster al-Jazeera and reducing ties with Iran.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/28/uae-ambassador-threatens-further-sanctions-against-qatar

Newsline: Alleged Chinese Embassy Attackers Jailed in Kyrgyzstan

A court in Kyrgyzstan has sentenced three people to lengthy jail terms for their alleged role in the car bomb attack on China’s embassy last August, but many questions remain over the rigor of the 10-month long investigation. Khasamidin Ismailov was handed an 18-year sentence by the court in Bishkek on June 27, while Hikmatillo Abdulazhanov and Kunazim Mansirova were each ordered to serve 10 years in jail apiece. All had pleaded not guilty to assisting the bomber in carrying out the August 30 embassy attack, which injured five people after a car packed with explosives rammed into the gates of the building. Nobody other than the attacker was killed in the attack. Lawyers for the three have said they will appeal. The account is confused and bears all too little scrutiny.

http://www.eurasianet.org/node/84151

Newsline: Zimbabweans in South Africa Storm Embassy in Pretoria to Demand Voting Rights

Scores of Zimbabweans living in South Africa stormed the Zimbabwean embassy in Pretoria, demanding the right to vote in the 2018 general elections, reports said. According to News Day, the protesters first gathered at the Union Buildings before proceeding to the Zimbabwean embassy to present their petition. Reports late last year indicated that Zimbabwe’s three million or so diasporans were most certainly not going to be allowed to vote in the upcoming elections unless they came home twice – once to register and then again to vote.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201706280535.html

Newsline: China lodges protest with Indian Embassy

China on Tuesday lodged diplomatic diplomatic protests with India, both in New Delhi and Beijing, alleging that the Indian troops trespassed into Chinese territory in the Sikkim sector. It has accused the Indian troops of “crossing the boundary” in the Sikkim section and demanded their immediate withdrawal, while asserting that it has shut down the Nathu La pass entry for Indian pilgrims travelling to Kailash Mansarovar because of the border standoff. “We have lodged solemn representations in Beijing and New Delhi to elaborate on our solemn position”, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Lu Kang told a media briefing in Beijing. “Our position to uphold our territorial sovereignty is unwavering. We hope the Indian side can work with China in the same direction and immediately withdraw the personnel who have overstepped and trespassed into Chinese border”, he said. China on Tuesday night, said that it had put off the visit of Indian pilgrims who enter Tibet via the Nathu La pass “for safety reasons” in view of the border issue. “China urges India to immediately withdraw its border guards that have crossed the boundary and have a thorough investigation of this matter”, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said.

http://www.firstpost.com/india/china-lodges-protest-with-indian-embassy-alleging-its-troops-crossed-boundary-in-sikkim-3749997.html