Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for October 10, 2017

Newsline: US Embassy official robbed at police roadblock in Papua New Guinea

A US Embassy official has been robbed at gunpoint in Port Moresby after being stopped at a police roadblock. Several sources have told the ABC the male official was driving home on Friday night after having dinner at the popular Harbourside restaurant precinct when he was stopped at a police roadblock a short distance away. A man in civilian clothes, who was with the police, got into the car, produced a pistol and took the American’s phone and watch. The official was then forced to drive to an ATM and withdraw cash from his bank account. He was able to get away when the armed robber got out of the car while it was parked near a nightclub in the CBD. The victim was left traumatised by the ordeal but is not believed to have sustained any significant physical injuries. The ABC has been told the US Embassy has put a nightly curfew in place for its staff following the robbery. One source said the official’s car did not have a duress alarm, which is a common security feature in diplomatic vehicles in Port Moresby.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-10/us-embassy-official-robbed-at-police-roadblock-in-port-moresby/9035644

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Newsline: Turkey summons US diplomat in escalating visa spat

The Turkish Foreign Ministry has summoned the US embassy’s deputy chief in an escalating diplomatic row that has put both nations’ visa services on ice. State-run news agency Anadolu reported that the Foreign Ministry planned to tell Philip Kosnett of the US mission in Ankara that they expected the US to lift its visa suspension, which affects all non-immigrant visa services in the country. The latest tit-for-tat between Ankara and Washington began last week, when a staff member from the US consulate in Istanbul was arrested. Washington responded with the visa freeze and Ankara responded by doing the same.

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/10/09/politics/turkey-us-visa-diplomacy/index.html

Newsline: Sweden summons Turkey ambassador after Swedish citizen charged

Sweden summoned Turkey’s ambassador on Monday over concerns that a Swedish citizen, among 11 other activists, risks up to 15 years in prison in a case that has sparked international outrage. Ali Gharavi, an IT consultant and writer, was detained while attending a July 5th workshop in Istanbul along with several other human rights activists, including Amnesty International’s Turkey director. Turkish prosecutors on Sunday sought prison terms of up to 15 years for the activists, the Dogan news agency said. Gharavi, who is of Iranian origin, has worked as the IT head at the Center for Victims of Torture, an international nonprofit group. It is the third time that Sweden has summoned the Turkish ambassador this year over Gharavi’s detention. Turkey accuses the activists, who include German citizen Peter Steudtner as well as the director of Amnesty Turkey, Idil Eser, and its Turkey chair, Taner Kilic, of “supporting an armed terror group”. But human rights groups say the detentions are aimed at silencing political dissent in a crackdown under the state of emergency imposed after last year’s coup attempt.

https://www.thelocal.se/20171010/sweden-summons-turkey-ambassador-after-swedish-citizen-ali-gharavi-charged