Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for October 4, 2018

Newsline: U.S. Bans Diplomatic Visas for Foreign Same-Sex Domestic Partners

The Trump administration will no longer issue family visas to same-sex domestic partners of foreign diplomats or employees of international organizations who work in the United States, State Department officials said. The shift drew sharp criticism from gay rights advocates, including those who work for the United Nations and could be affected. It also applies to people working in the United States for the World Bank, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and other groups. The changes took effect on Monday. United Nations employees were notified in a memo last month that only married same-sex partners seeking to accompany newly arrived officials to the United States would be eligible for a G-4 visa. Under the new State Department rules, foreign couples will need to present proof of marriage to obtain the diplomatic family visas. But only a small number of the United Nations’s 193 member states have legalized same-sex marriage. If necessary, the State Department officials said, legal workarounds could be discussed on a case-by-case basis for couples who are barred from marrying in their home countries.


Newsline: Diplomat from Congo accused of groping woman in New York let go thanks to immunity

An official from the Democratic Republic of Congo allegedly groped a woman he’d never met in a shared Uber Wednesday — but was let go without charges after citing diplomatic immunity, police sources said. “America has given diplomats immunity to come here and touch people inappropriately? I don’t understand,” said the outraged victim, a 31-year-old married mom of two, whose name is being withheld by The Post. The woman was already in an Uber Pool ride-share with a friend when the driver picked up Athys Kabongo Kolonji, Congo’s Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, at a strip club around 4 a.m., she said. As the car moved through Queens, Kabongo allegedly slid his hand up the woman’s inner thigh and touched her over her crotch, sources said. The woman’s pal caught the touching and the woman shoving Kabongo off her on videotape, the victim said. Cops brought Kabongo in for questioning — but let him go without charges when he claimed diplomatic immunity, sources said.