Diplomatic Briefing

Your exclusive news aggregator handpicked daily!

Archive for September, 2018

Newsline: Palestinians ask World Court to order US embassy out of Jerusalem

The Palestinians filed a lawsuit with the United Nations highest court asking the international body to order the United States to move its embassy out of Jerusalem. The lawsuit was filed by “the State of Palestine” with the International Court of Justice, or World Court, Reuters reported. The lawsuit argues the Vienna Convention of Diplomatic Relations of 1961 requires a country to locate its embassy on the territory of the host state. Israel’s ownership of Jerusalem, which it controls militarily, is in dispute on the international level. It asks the court “to order the United States of America to withdraw the diplomatic mission from the Holy City of Jerusalem and to conform to the international obligations flowing from the Vienna Convention.” U.S. President Donald Trump in December 2017 recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and announced that the U.S. would move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The U.S. embassy was officially opened in Jerusalem on May 14, 2018 in the existing U.S. Consulate building in Jerusalem’s Arnona neighborhood.



Newsline: Pompeo accuses Iran of firing at U.S. embassy in Iraq

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo ordered the closure of a diplomatic mission in Iraq, following rocket launches that he blamed on Iran. “I have advised the Government of Iran that the United States will hold Iran directly responsible for any harm to Americans or to our diplomatic facilities in Iraq or elsewhere and whether perpetrated by Iranian forces directly or by associated proxy militias,” Pompeo said Friday afternoon. That statement came on the heels of an announcement that he had ordered the closure of the U.S. Consulate in Basra, a city in southern Iraq. The “temporary relocation” is taking place just weeks after after an Iranian facility in the same city was set ablaze by protesters angry about Iranian influence in the country. Iran-backed forces alleged that the U.S. had orchestrated the incident, raising concerns of an analogous assault on American diplomats.


Newsline: US ambassador calls for Maduro ouster with megaphone diplomacy

The US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, joined Venezuelan protesters outside the world body headquarters and called for the ouster of President Nicolas Maduro. Haley’s embrace of demonstrators was highly unusual for a diplomat from a major power at the staid United Nations and came a day after President Donald Trump hinted at military options against Maduro’s leftist government. “We are going to fight for Venezuela and we are going to continue doing it until Maduro is gone!” Haley shouted from a megaphone. “We need your voices to be loud and I will tell you, the US voice is going to be loud,” she said. Haley said she visited the border with Colombia, which has accepted more than one million Venezuelans fleeing an economic freefall including hyperinflation.


Newsline: Cambodia to re-open embassy in Bulgaria

Cambodia will re-open its embassy in Bulgaria’s capital, Sofia, in 2019. Prime Minister Hun Sen and Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov met in New York on Friday, Sept. 28, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. On that occasion Hun Sen told his counterpart about the planned re-opening of the embassy that was temporarily closed due to the tenuous political situation in Bulgaria at the time. Mr Borissov welcomed the re-opening of the Kingdom’s embassy in his country and told Hun Sen that it is an opportunity for him to pay an official visit to Bulgaria. Both countries pledged to to enhance cooperation and strengthen their relationship in economic, commercial, and touristic matters.


Newsline: North Korea denies running casino out of Moscow embassy

North Korea is denying media reports that it was hosting an illegal casino in its embassy in Moscow. Earlier this month, Russia media reported on a series of raids on 15 underground gambling dens in the Moscow region. Russian investigators believe the illegal operation had been around since May 2016, generating profits of hundreds of millions of rubles each month. These illegal operations were reportedly connected to licensed sports betting operator Panorama, which operates the GreenBet, UnionBet and Winline brands. Over 100 individuals were arrested, including Anton Bazhanov, a reputed high-ranking member of the local “criminal community.” On Wednesday, the Tass news agency quoted a law enforcement source saying that one of the underground casinos was located “on the premises of the North Korean embassy” and that it catered to a VIP clientele of diplomats and lawyers. Komsomolskaya Pravda quoted other law enforcement sources saying they’d been denied access to the premises by embassy staff who cited sovereign territory rights. Following these reports, a North Korean spokesperson denied the allegations, telling Tass: “We know nothing about this.”


Newsline: Cambodia to open embassy in Turkey

The Foreign Ministry announced that Cambodia will open an Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, in 2019. This will play an instrumental role in augmenting cooperation and partnership between the two countries. Furthermore, Foreign Affairs Minister Prak Sokhonn will pay an official visit to the Republic of Turkey from October 1 to 3.


Newsline: US embassy in Sarajevo denies meddling in Bosnian election

The US embassy in Bosnia-Herzegovina rejected accusations by Serb nationalist leaders that Washington is trying to interfere in next month’s general election. The embassy said in a statement that “the United States is not interfering in the election process and we strongly reject such appalling accusations”. Bosnian Serb President Milorad Dodik has accused the US and Britain of supporting his opponents and trying to influence the outcome of the October 7 vote. The election is seen as crucial indicator of whether the country, ravaged by a civil war in the 1990s, will join the European Union and Nato, or continue with bickering between its Serb, Muslim and Croat ethnic groups.