Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for Regions

Newsline: Treasury secretary to head massive US delegation to embassy ceremony in Jerusalem

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are expected to attend the US embassy opening in Jerusalem in May, following President Donald Trump’s decision to overturn decades-long policy by recognizing the holy city as Israel’s capital, the left-wing Israeli news outlet Haaretz reported Sunday. Last month, it was revealed that the US President would not attend the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem slated for May 14, though he may make a visit in July to symbolically give his blessing to the new mission. Trump’s daughter and son-in-law, both among his top advisers, are the likely candidates to represent the administration in the hotly contested move, along with U.S. Secretary of Treasury Steve Mnuchin, who will head a delegation of 250 from the US, including some 40 politicians and officials, reported Israel’s Channel 10 news.



Newsline: Czech Republic Won’t Relocate Israeli Embassy to Jerusalem

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babi said this week his country will not break UN and EU policy and relocate their embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Babi also said that his country is examining the possibility of relocating their cultural center from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem instead. The possibly of opening an honorary consulate in Jerusalem is also being examined – even though one already exists. Israel’s Foreign Ministry has said in the past that the Czech Republic may move its embassy to Jerusalem and Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely is planning to visit the country soon to try to convince them to do so.


Newsline: Reduced US Embassy Staff In Havana Hinders Travel By Cubans

The chilled relations between Cuba and the White House has left the U.S. embassy running on a shoe-string operation. Cubans hoping to travel to the U.S. must now apply in a third country for visas. Cuba may have a new president whose name is not Castro, but chilly relations between the United States and the communist government on that island aren’t expected to thaw any time soon. President Trump has rolled back parts of what he called the Obama administration’s one-sided deal with Cuba. And then the U.S. Embassy is nearly empty, following unexplained health problems affecting American personnel there.


Newsline: Tunisia reopens consulate in Libyan capital Tripoli

Tunisia has reopened its consulate in the Libyan capital, the Libya foreign ministry said, the latest mission to return to Tripoli. Most embassies left Tripoli in 2014 when heavy fighting broke out between rival factions and few came back when a U.N.-backed administration took office in 2016. The Tunisian consulate resumed work after talks between the two countries, the Libyan foreign ministry said. The Tunisian foreign ministry declined to comment, but a diplomatic source confirmed the move. Tunisia closed its mission after ten staffers were kidnapped in 2015.


Newsline: New US Consulate in Matamoros, Mexico has $176 million price tag

Construction of the new U.S. Consulate General in Matamoros has begun on a new $176 million, 7.6-acre consulate site. The multi-building campus will include a chancery, Marine security guard residence, support buildings and facilities for the consulate general community. Completion is expected in May 2019. Tony Garza, the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico from 2002 to 2009, said this project was in the works during his tenure. And despite some harsh words toward the border, Mexico and Central America from President Donald Trump, this project shows a good relationship between the United States and its southern neighbor, Garza said.


Newsline: Uruguay’s top diplomat slams US request to expel Russian diplomats as improper

Washington’s request that other countries also expel Russian diplomats is improper, Uruguay’s Foreign Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa said. “I did not take this request well, I said it was improper and it should not have been made,” the top diplomat said as cited by the El Pais newspaper. “Uruguay is an independent country and determines its relations with the world itself,” Nin Novoa added. In late March, US President Donald Trump called on leaders of other countries to join Washington’s decision to expel Russian diplomats.


Newsline: Czechs to open honorary consulate in Jerusalem

The Czech Republic will open a new honorary consulate in Jerusalem in the next few months, the country’s acting prime minister, Andrej Babiš, said on Friday. He added that the government was considering opening a Czech Centre in the city during a planned visit to Israel by the Czech president, Miloš Zeman, at the end of 2018. Mr. Zeman has for some time backed the idea of moving the Czech Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. However, Mr. Babiš rejected that idea in December when US leader Donald Trump announced a similar intention. The United Nations and the EU insist on a two-state solution under which Jerusalem would one day be the capital of both Israel and a future Palestinian state. Mr. Babiš said opening a Czech Centre in the city would not contradict that position.