Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for North America

Newsline: Protests at US Embassy in Lebanon turn violent

Demonstrations near the U.S. Embassy Sunday turned violent as protesters took to the streets to denounce U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize occupied Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Security forces suppressed the demonstrations with water cannons and tear gas. Later in the afternoon riot police assaulted protesters and journalists attempting to cover the clashes. The Internal Security Forces released a statement Sunday evening saying they had intervened after protestors “insisted on carrying out a riot and did not keep the peace during the sit-in.” The statement added that, “19 members of the Internal Security Forces were wounded and one of them underwent surgery due to a minor injury to the face,” while not presenting any figures on the number of civilians wounded.

https://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Lebanon-News/2017/Dec-10/429593-protests-at-us-embassy-erupt-into-clashes.ashx

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Newsline: US Diplomat’s Resignation Signals Wider Exodus From State Department

An award-winning U.S. diplomat who was seen as a rising star at the State Department has issued a scathing resignation letter, accusing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the Donald Trump administration of undercutting the State Department and damaging America’s influence in the world. Elizabeth Shackelford, who most recently served as a political officer based in Nairobi for the U.S. mission to Somalia, wrote to Tillerson that she reluctantly had decided to quit because the administration had abandoned human rights as a priority and shown disdain for the State Department’s diplomatic work, according to her letter, obtained by Foreign Policy. Her former colleagues said her departure — and the sentiments expressed in her letter — reflect a wider exodus of midcareer diplomats who have lost confidence in Tillerson’s management and the Trump administration’s approach toward diplomacy.

U.S. Diplomat’s Resignation Signals Wider Exodus From State Department

Newsline: Thousands of Indonesians rally at US Embassy over Jerusalem

About 10,000 people rallied Sunday outside the U.S. Embassy in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta to denounce President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Similar protests, mostly organized by the Islamist Prosperous Justice Party, or PKS, also were held in many other cities in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country. The protests were the third and biggest in Indonesia since Trump’s decision on Thursday. In the capital, protesters carried banners reading “U.S. Embassy, Get Out from Al Quds,” ”Free Jerusalem and Palestinians” and “We are with the Palestinians.” Al-Quds is the Arabic name for Jerusalem. Wearing traditional Islamic white robes, the protesters also unfurled Indonesian and Palestinian flags.

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/thousands-indonesians-rally-us-embassy-jerusalem-51698662

Newsline: Saudi Arabian Embassy Says The Buyer Of The Da Vinci Painting Is Not The Saudi Crown Prince

The embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington D.C. issued a statement on December 8 in response to a Wall Street Journal report that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was the true buyer of Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi, which sold at auction in November for a record breaking $450 million. The embassy says in its statement that the “art work was acquired by the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism for display at the Louvre Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.” Auction house Christie’s released a statement shortly after, corroborating the embassy’s version of the sale. “Christie’s can confirm that the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi is acquiring ‘Salvator Mundi’ by Leonardo da Vinci,” the statement read. “We are delighted to see that this remarkable painting will be available for public view at the Louvre Abu Dhabi.”

https://www.forbes.com/sites/angelauyeung/2017/12/08/saudi-arabian-embassy-says-buyer-of-da-vinci-painting-not-the-crown-prince/#2f32d5783b50

Newsline: US top diplomat says embassy move to Jerusalem could take years

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says it will likely take several years before the United States opens an embassy in Jerusalem. Tillerson is holding a news conference with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in Paris. He says it will “take some time” to acquire a site for the embassy, develop building and construction plans, obtain authorizations from the Israeli government and actually build the embassy. Tillerson says it won’t happen this year, and probably not in 2018. He also says Trump’s recognition of the city as Israel’s capital “did not indicate any final status for Jerusalem.”

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/latest-al-qaida-urges-attacks-us-trump-move-51664549

Newsline: Jordanians demand closure of US embassy in Amman

Hundreds of Jordanians have demonstrated in front of the US embassy in Amman, demanding its closure and the expulsion of the US charge d’affaires from Jordan in response to President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. President Donald Trump issued a statement on Wednesday proclaiming the US decision and preparations to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Jordanian parliamentary political blocs, Islamist movements and independents had called for protests on Friday across Jordanian cities and in front of the US embassy in Amman in protest of the US decision. The US embassy in Amman issued a statement on Thursday suspending public services and limiting the public movement of its staff.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/12/jordanians-demand-closure-embassy-amman-171207170857947.html

Newsline: US embassies are bracing for ‘potentially violent’ backlash over Trump’s Jerusalem decision

Several US embassies across the Middle East have warned of potentially violent protests in response to President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The alert comes as Palestinian leaders encouraged worldwide demonstrations and called for Palestinians to engage in “three days of rage.” The US embassy in Jordan published a security warning telling US citizens that Trump’s decision may spark protests which “have the potential to become violent.” The statement urged US citizens to avoid large gatherings and to maintain a “high-level of vigilance” as tensions rise in the region. The embassy, located in Jordan’s capital Amman, also temporarily suspended public services, and instructed US personnel to keep a “low profile.” All embassy travel outside of Amman was temporarily suspended, and children of US officials were instructed not to attend school on Thursday. In Turkey, the US embassy in Ankara stated that it was aware of plans by several groups to stage public protests, and urged US citizens to avoid areas of large gatherings, particularly around US outposts in Ankara, Istanbul and Adana. The US embassy in Egypt said that Trump’s announcement has “generated significant media attention,” and Americans in the country are urged to stay vigilant. The US State Department has warned US embassies across the globe to increase security. US Marine units are on call if added security is needed in capitals across the world, the publication Marine Times said.

http://www.businessinsider.com/us-embassies-bracing-for-violent-backlash-over-trumps-jerusalem-decision-2017-12