Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for Regions

Newsline: Ukraine Expels Belarusian Diplomat Amid Spy Scandal

Ukraine has expelled a Belarusian diplomat amid a spy scandal between the two neighboring countries. Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maryana Betsa said that a Belarusian diplomat had been declared persona non grata and expelled from Ukraine in response to the Belarusian government’s decision the previous day to expel diplomat Ihor Skvortsov from the Ukrainian Embassy in Minsk. The name of the expelled Belarusian diplomat was not disclosed. Belarusian officials said on November 20 that Skvortsov had been allegedly involved in espionage.

https://www.rferl.org/a/belarus-ukraine-diplomats-expelled-spy-scandal/28868000.html

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Newsline: Democratic Republic of Congo recalls ambassador from Libya

The Democratic Republic of Congo on Wednesday recalled its ambassador from Libya following reports that some Congolese and citizens of other African countries were being sold as slaves in the North African country. In a statement, the Foreign Ministry said while it welcomed Libyan authorities’ opening of a judicial inquiry into the allegations, DRC decided to recall its ambassador to Tripoli so that more light could be shed on the abject migrant trade currently prevailing in Libya. It added the DRC ambassador to Tripoli would reveal the situation in Libya so that a mission of identification and, if necessary, of repatriation of Congolese nationals found enslaved in Libya could be carried out.

http://aa.com.tr/en/africa/dr-congo-recalls-ambassador-from-libya/974666

Newsline: Jordan Holds Firm On Refusal To Reopen Israeli Embassy

Jordan will not allow the reopening of the Israeli embassy in Amman or the return of Israel’s ambassador unless the Israeli security guard involved in the killing of two Jordanians in July is brought to trial, a Jordanian government minister said Thursday. Jordanian Media Affairs Minister Mohammed Momani issued a press release to this effect, in which he added that Jordan’s position on the issue was very firm. Saleh al-Armouti, a Jordanian member of Parliament, told The Media Line that Israeli ambassador Einat Schlein is unwelcome in Amman because she “accompanied the murderer,” security guard Ziv Moyal, back to Israel. The appropriate response to the entire incident, according to al-Armouti, would be for Jordan to “close the embassy and cut ties with Israel for good. “The security guard doesn’t have diplomatic immunity,” said al-Armouti. On July 23 Moyal was reportedly attacked with a screwdriver by teenager Mohammed Jawawdeh, who had been delivering furniture to Moyal’s landlord. Moyal then opened fire, killing Jawawdeh along with the building’s owner. The incident prompted widespread condemnation from Jordanian citizens, who held mass demonstrations including outside the Israeli embassy, where protesters chanted “Death to Israel.” Moyal and Israeli embassy staff were allowed to return to Israel a day after the incident following diplomatic pressure from the Israeli government and the US. A subsequent investigation by Israel’s Shin Bet concluded that Moyal acted in self-defense and thus there were no grounds to prosecute him.

http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Jordan-Holds-Firm-On-Refusal-To-Reopen-Israeli-Embassy-514794

Newsline: Burkina Faso recalls ambassador to Libya over ‘slave markets’ report

Burkina Faso’s foreign minister said it had recalled its ambassador to Libya over a report that black African migrants were being auctioned as slaves there. The decision by the West African nation followed the broadcast by CNN of footage of what it said was an auction of men offered to Libyan buyers as farmhands and sold for $400, a chilling echo of the trans-Saharan slave trade of centuries past. Libya’s ambassador to Burkina Faso said his country was being unfairly blamed for a global problem that all nations affected must come together to solve.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-burkina-libya/burkina-faso-recalls-ambassador-to-libya-over-slave-markets-report-idUSKBN1DK2I7

Newsline: DC could rename street outside Russian embassy after Putin opponent

Local officials in Washington, D.C., are considering renaming the street in front of the Russian Embassy after a prominent political opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin who was assassinated in 2015. The block of Wisconsin Avenue in northwest would be renamed “Boris Nemtsov Plaza” if the legislation passes. Councilmember Mary M. Cheh (D), whose council ward jurisdiction includes the Russian embassy, rolled out the legislation to rename the street, telling The Washington Post in an article published Tuesday that it was important for the U.S. to honor Russia’s democracy movement. “The man was assassinated, and he was someone fighting for democracy in Russia, and he is a hero,” Cheh told the publication, adding, “But, of course, he is not being treated as a hero in Russia.” Cheh is not the first public official to call on renaming the street after Boris Nemtsov. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) introduced legislation in February that was aimed at renaming the road, but it has not made headway in Congress’s upper chamber.

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/361376-street-outside-of-dc-russian-embassy-could-be-renamed-after

Newsline: Italian embassy issued ‘9000 visas’ in Libya since March

Ambassador to Libya Giuseppe Perrone noted that the Italian embassy ”is the only one open in Tripoli, amid difficult security conditions” and that Italy ”is the only country that issues visas in Libya. ”We do it both in Tobruk, in Cyrenaica, and in Tripoli,”’ he said, saying that this was an important part of the embassy’s activities in the country. ”I have not seen the most recent figures,” he added, ”but we began to issue visas on March 1 and I believe we are at 8,000 or 9,000 visas if not more.” ”One of the crucial messages that we wanted to give with our presence in Libya,” the ambassador noted, ”is not only attention to inter-governmental relations. We also wanted to do something so that the population is not isolated and could travel. This is one of the signs of the success that the Italian presence has had.”

http://www.ansamed.info/ansamed/en/news/sections/politics/2017/11/21/italian-embassy-issued-9000-visas-in-libya-since-march_d560a041-2cf3-4bc9-a397-17fcacffb9ee.html

Newsline: Russian embassy in Damascus comes under fire

Russia’s embassy in Damascus came under mortar shelling from terrorists’ positions. No one was hurt. The building’s wall, electricity lines and water supplies systems were damaged, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Monday. “In a mortar shelling of Damascus conducted from terrorists’ positions at about 10:35 local time on November 20, a shell hit the outer fence of the Russian embassy to Syria, which is located close to its dwelling compound,” the ministry said, adding that the 122mm mine damaged the building’s wall, electricity lines and the water supplies system. “No one from among the embassy’s employees was hurt,” the ministry said. Moscow expects that Western countries at the UN Security Council will give proper evaluation of the incident. “We hope that our so active on the Syrian trajectory Western colleagues in the UN Security Council will have the heart not to keep silent but to give proper public evaluation of the incident in which the lives of Russian diplomats were jeopardized,” the ministry said.

http://tass.com/world/976525