Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for Americas

Newsline: Arab ‘diplomatic boycott’ suggested if US moves embassy to Jerusalem

Every Muslim state should close their embassy in the United States if the Trump administration moves the US embassy to Jerusalem, the president of the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union (AIPU) said. Nabih Berri, also speaker of the Lebanese Parliament, said President Trump may not postpone a US-congress decision to move the embassy, at a conference in Rabat, Morocco. “We must call for Palestinian national unity, its return to a central issue in the Arab consciousness and the building of trusting relationships between Muslim neighbours,” Berri said. Berri said that the decision to move the embassy required a “strong reaction” from a unified Muslim world, which would require “at the very least”, the closure of embassies.

https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2017/3/21/arab-diplomatic-boycott-if-us-moves-embassy-to-jerusalem

Newsline: Cardboard Trudeau Cut-Outs Banned At Canada’s Diplomatic Missions In US

Justin Trudeau may still be a big draw on the international circuit, but his cardboard stand-ins have fallen flat. Global Affairs has instructed diplomatic missions in the United States to stop using life-size cardboard cut-outs of the prime minister to promote Canada. The order follows the revelation last week that prime ministerial replicas turned up at an event last June organized by the Canadian consulate in Atlanta and earlier this month at a Canadian music festival in Austin, Tex. It’s not clear if the missions ever had departmental permission to use the cardboard cut-outs. According to emails obtained by the Conservatives through the Access to Information Act, the Washington embassy’s interest in using a cardboard likeness was sparked by word that the Atlanta consulate had put one on display at a pre-Canada Day event last year. Asked if Ottawa had given permission, Louise Blais, the Atlanta consul general, advised the embassy that she did ask but “never got an answer.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2017/03/20/trudeau-cardboard-cutout-banned_n_15494944.html

Newsline: Former Sri Lankan Ambassador to US released on bail

Former Sri Lankan Ambassador to the United States Jaliya Wickramasuriya who was held in remand custody for allegedly misappropriating funds allocated for purchasing a building for the Sri Lankan Embassy in USA, was ordered to be released on bail by Colombo Fort Magistrate. The suspect was ordered to be released on a cash bail of Rs.50,000 with two sureties of one million rupees by Magistrate Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne. He was further barred from leaving the country. The Financial Crimes and Investigations Division (FCID) alleged that the suspect had misappropriated the amount during the purchase of a building to house the Sri Lankan embassy at 3025, White Haven Street, Washington 20008.

http://www.sundaytimes.lk/article/1018681/former-sri-lankan-ambassador-jaliya-wickramasuriya-released-on-bail

Newsline: New Zealand asks US embassy diplomat to leave

The US embassy in New Zealand has refused to waive diplomatic immunity for one of its staff members New Zealand police want to question. An incident involving a diplomat from the US embassy was brought to the attention of New Zealand police on Sunday, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) spokesman says. MFAT was asked by police on Monday to request a waiver of immunity from the US to enable police to undertake investigations, and did so that day. The US government has on Friday declined to waive the diplomat’s immunity. Therefore, MFAT has asked the US to withdraw the staff member in question from New Zealand. Police were called to an address in Lower Hutt but the man, who works at the embassy in Wellington as a technical attache, had left, apparently nursing a broken nose and a black eye, TVNZ reported. A US government spokesman says as a matter of policy “we do not comment on the specifics of matters under investigation”. “We take seriously any suggestion that our staff have fallen short of the high standards of conduct expected of US government personnel. ”Any allegations of wrongdoing are always fully investigated.”

http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2017/03/nz-asks-us-embassy-diplomat-to-leave.html

Newsline: Cause of death of Russian ambassador to UN revealed

Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations who collapsed suddenly while at his embassy in Manhattan died from a heart attack, it was confirmed. No foul play is suspected in the death of Vitaly Churkin, according to a senior official briefed by the medical examiner’s office. The 64-year-old diplomat fell unconscious with a “cardiac condition” around 9.30am on Monday February 20 and was rushed to New York’s Presbyterian Hospital. However, despite attempts to revive him with CPR he was pronounced dead shortly after 11am. A post mortem was performed on Churkin last month, but the death required further study.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/cause-death-russian-ambassador-un-10006178

Newsline: Next US ambassador to Russia named

Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman accepted the offer of US President Donald Trump to become the next US ambassador to Russia. On Wednesday, US media reported citing sources in the administration that Huntsman was offered a diplomatic position in Russia. Huntsman, who has been described by one of the sources as a “brilliant guy” and a “tough” person and the one who could understand Trump’s policy, has accepted the proposal of the president, the CNN broadcaster said, citing senior administration officials. Apart from being the governor of Utah in 2005-2009, the official used to serve as country’s ambassador to Singapore and China in 1992-1993 and 2009-2011, respectively.

https://sputniknews.com/politics/201703091051395423-huntsman-ambassador-russia/

Newsline: Gunmen storm military hospital near US Embassy in Kabul

Gunmen stormed a military hospital in Afghanistan’s capital Wednesday, killing at least four people and wounding more than 60, setting off clashes with security forces that were still underway hours later. Gen. Dawlat Waziri, a Defense Ministry spokesman, said gunmen entered the Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan Hospital after an explosion and gunfire. The 400-bed military hospital is located near two civilian hospitals in the Wazir Akbar Khan area of Kabul, which is also home to several embassies, including that of the U.S. The attack began when a suicide bomber blew himself up at the rear of the hospital and three attackers with automatic weapons and hand grenades entered the complex, a security official told the Reuters news agency. The gunmen, dressed as medical personnel, took positions on the hospital’s upper floors and battled special forces sent to the scene, officials told Reuters. As fighting went on, a second explosion was heard inside, Reuters added.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/gunmen-attack-military-hospital-near-us-embassy-in-kabul/