Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for November 14, 2019

Newsline: Finland reopens Iraq embassy after hiatus of nearly 30yrs

Finland says it is reopening its embassy in Iraq and sending an ambassador to Baghdad after a hiatus of nearly 30 years to re-establish bilateral ties, help in the country’s reconstruction and boost trade. Repatriating thousands of Iraqis who are staying illegally in Finland after rejection of their asylum applications remains a thorny issue between the countries. Some 20,000 Iraqi migrants arrived in Finland in 2015. Finnish Ambassador Vesa Hakkinen told The Associated Press on Thursday, a day before taking up his new post, that the Nordic country and EU member ceased its diplomatic presence in Iraq in the wake of the Gulf War in January 1991. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/finland-reopens-iraq-embassy-after-hiatus-of-nearly-30yrs/2019/11/14/46808c2a-06d1-11ea-9118-25d6bd37dfb1_story.html) Finland’s embassy will have an initial staff of four and be located in a Baghdad building that also houses the Swedish embassy.

Newsline: Guaido Allies Leave Venezuela Embassy in Brazil After Stand-Off

Supporters of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido left the country’s embassy in Brasilia on Wednesday evening, ending a nearly 13-hour stand-off with diplomats loyal to President Nicolas Maduro. Freddy Meregote, the embassy’s charge d’affaires representing Maduro’s government, said the “attack” from the “enemies of the revolution” in Venezuela was repelled.” (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-11-13/guaido-backers-enter-venezuela-embassy-in-brazil-in-bold-move) Guaido’s top representative in Brazil, Maria Teresa Alexandrian, said in a statement that the decision to stand down was taken for safety reasons. She added that talks with Brazil‘s government were under way with the aim of ensuring access the embassy as soon as possible. A representative from Brazil’s Foreign Affairs Ministry spent hours on site, speaking with both sides. It was not clear what was agreed that allowed Maduro diplomats to regain full control of the embassy.