Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Ambassador warns Malaysians in Indonesia to avoid public areas

Malaysians residing in Indonesia are advised to remain alert and stay away from public places or heavily guarded areas, following a bomb explosion at a bus terminal in Kampung Melayu, East Jakarta Wednesday night. Malaysia’s Ambassador to Indonesia Datuk Seri Zahrain Mohamed Hashim, when contacted by Bernama, said the warning was addressed to Malaysians who were not only in Jakarta but also at other locations in the country. “We have also requested the cooperation of the Indonesian police to ensure no Malaysians were affected in the incident and so far no such report has been received, ” he said when referring to the incident which reportedly killed five people, including three policemen. Also killed in the 9pm bomb explosion were two suicide bombers. Malaysian consulates in the neighbouring countries have been told to advise Malaysians to avoid public places or police guarded areas, said the Jakarta-based ambassador.

http://www.theborneopost.com/2017/05/25/msians-in-indonesia-advised-to-avoid-public-areas-ambassador/

Newsline: US Police Called to Restore Order as Fight Erupts at Nigerian Embassy in Washington

Chaos broke out at a department inside the Embassy of Nigeria in Washington D.C. United States after two officials of the embassy began fighting. The officials are Mr. Robert Mumford Ditto, a Filipino and one Saka Ologele from Nigeria. Apparently left fuming after an argument, Ditto, angrily threw a chair at Ologele. Some officials of the embassy tried to engage with the men but the situation then escalated into a physical fight, in the full glare of dozens of guests and visa applicants. Ditto called in agents from the Washington Capitol Secret Service Police to deal with the commotion. No fewer than five police officers arrived and made their way into the embassy to restore order and calm panicky guests and visa applicants. It took the timely intervention of acting Ambassador, Mr. Hakeem Balogun, to prevent the secret service agents from arresting the officials. The acting ambassador has suspended the duo indefinitely.

https://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2017/05/24/us-police-called-to-restore-order-as-fight-erupts-at-nigerian-embassy-in-washington/

Newsline: Chinese embassy in Pakistan confirms kidnapping of 2 nationals

The Chinese embassy in Pakistan on Wednesday confirmed the kidnapping of two Chinese nationals by unknown gunmen in the country’s southwest Quetta city earlier in the day. An official from the Chinese embassy told Xinhua that they are trying to know more details about the incident and about the abducted persons. Meanwhile they have urged the Pakistani side to rescue the abductees as quickly as possible, said the official.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-05/24/c_136311794.htm

Newsline: French Embassy in UK Opens Crisis Unit Following Manchester Attack

The French Consulate in London has opened a crisis unit, making available emergency telephone numbers for information about the victims of the recent deadly terror attack in Manchester, a Sputnik correspondent reported Tuesday. On Monday night, a deadly explosion hit the Manchester Arena at the end of US singer Ariana Grande’s concert. Following the blast, Burnham had already expressed his condolences over the attack. The blast left at least 22 people dead, including children, and almost 60 injured. Several people are still missing. The French embassy is calling on the citizens of France to mark themselves as safe via Facebook. The French Consulate in London has also opened a crisis unit to receive the calls of everybody who cannot reach their close ones.

https://sputniknews.com/europe/201705231053894150-france-uk-manchester-attack/

Newsline: US London Embassy ‘Closely Monitoring’ Manchester Attack

The US Embassy in London is closely monitoring the attack in Manchester, England and is ready to provide consular assistance to any citizens affected by the event, a Department of State spokesperson told Sputnik. “The US Embassy in London is monitoring the situation closely,” the State Department official stated. “We stand ready to provide all possible consular assistance should we become aware of any affected US citizens.” Authorities in Manchester, England confirmed 19 have been killed and 50 others injured as a result of an explosion at Manchester Arena amid a concert by US singer Ariana Grande.

https://sputniknews.com/us/201705231053879515-us-embassy-monitoring-manchester-attack/

Newsline: Turkey Summons US Ambassador Over Embassy Brawl

Turkey summoned the U.S. ambassador to Ankara on Monday to lodge a formal complaint with the U.S. for how it handled a brawl outside the Turkish Embassy in Washington, D.C., last week. Protesters who were demonstrating against the visit of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan were beaten by members of his security detail, though it’s still unclear how the fight started. Nearly a dozen people were injured, and the incident has threatened an already tense diplomatic relationship. Turkey’s complaint comes days after the U.S. summoned the country’s ambassador to Washington, and after several prominent U.S. lawmakers, including Arizona Senator John McCain, called on the U.S. to kick out the Turkish envoy. “We should throw the Turkish ambassador out of the country, we should identify those people that performed these unlawful acts of beating people up and they should be charged,” McCain said. Summoning the U.S. ambassador John Bass is a way for Turkey to lodge a formal complaint, but it also threatens to make an already-tense situation worse. A statement from the Turkish embassy in Washington called for a full investigation into the violence.

https://www.theatlantic.com/news/archive/2017/05/turkey-summons-us-ambassador/527637/

Newsline: France says not planning to reopen embassy in Syria

France’s foreign ministry said on Monday that the reopening of its embassy in Syria was not on the table, signaling there may be no fundamental change to Paris’ approach to the Syrian conflict under new president Emmanuel Macron. Citing a political source close to Macron, pan-Arab daily newspaper al-Hayat had reported on Monday that Macron was reviewing France’s decision to close the embassy in 2012. “The reopening of our embassy in Damascus is not on the agenda,” Foreign ministry spokesman Romain Nadal said in a daily briefing. Officials at the president’s office did not immediately respond for comment, although Macron ruled out reopening the embassy during a campaign trip to Beirut in January. Some European Union countries which withdrew their ambassadors from Syria as the conflict worsened in the country have indicated a willingness for more communication with Damascus given the ongoing fight against Islamic State militants even though France and Britain have staunchly opposed it. With the arrival of Macron, Paris’ policy on Syria has yet to be clearly defined.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-syria-idUSKBN18I1F2