Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for South America

Newsline: Paraguay to open Jerusalem embassy next week

Paraguay’s government says President Horacio Cartes will open the country’s new embassy to Israel in Jerusalem on Tuesday, following similar steps by the United States and Guatemala. Government spokesman Mariano Mercado says Cartes will leave for the trip on Saturday. The decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem has been controversial in Paraguay. It comes less than two months before Mario Abdo Benitez replaces Cartes, and the president-elect has said he wasn’t consulted. Most countries maintain embassies in Tel Aviv and have balked at moving them until the international legal status of the city has been resolved.

http://www.tampabay.com/paraguay-to-open-jerusalem-embassy-next-week-ap_worldbc8f355a7d0b467faa6ca2a7b355c5f5

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Newsline: Guatemala asks Sweden, Venezuela to remove ambassadors over ‘interference’

Guatemala asked the governments of Sweden and Venezuela to withdraw their ambassadors, accusing the diplomats of interfering in domestic politics and calling the country corrupt. Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales has been assailed by graft accusations against his family, and he has been at loggerheads with a United Nations-backed anti-corruption body of which Sweden is a prominent backer. “Because Ambassadors Anders Kompass and Elena Alicia Salcedo Poleo have, in the course of their work, assumed attitudes that result in interference in the internal affairs of Guatemala, the governments of Sweden and Venezuela have been asked to withdraw them,” the foreign ministry said in a statement. Foreign Minister Sandra Jovel told a news conference the requests to remove the ambassadors had nothing to do with the UN-backed International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), however.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-guatemala-diplomacy/guatemala-asks-sweden-venezuela-to-remove-ambassadors-over-interference-idUSKBN1IC06Y

Newsline: Colombia’s general allegedly linked to war crimes became ambassador to Seoul

South Korean President Moon Jae-in received the credentials of six new foreign ambassadors. Among them was the new Colombian ambassador to South Korea, Juan Pablo Rodríguez Barragán. Rodríguez isn’t a career diplomat, but he has a lengthy resume. He had 41 years of active military service, eventually becoming commander of the Colombian Military Forces until he resigned in 2017. But what really makes him stand out is another detail: He faces allegations of participating in war crimes and supporting cyberespionage against human-rights activists. Rodríguez stepped down as commander of the Colombian Military Forces in 2017, just three years after he had taken the position. The move was unexpected: According to a report from McClatchy, it came shortly after the U.S. government began reviewing his visa rights. Neither the South Korean nor Colombian embassies in Washington responded to inquiries about Rodríguez from The Washington Post.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2018/04/26/he-was-linked-to-war-crimes-now-hes-colombias-ambassador-in-seoul/?utm_term=.5bf5a7f251bd

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.

http://tass.com/world/1000842

Newsline: ‘Popiah King’ Sam Goi appointed Singapore’s non-resident ambassador to Brazil

Businessman Sam Goi, also known as Singapore’s “popiah king”, has been appointed the country’s non-resident ambassador to Brazil, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) announced on Friday (Apr 20). The post was last held by former Keppel CEO Choo Chiau Beng, who was Singapore’s non-resident ambassador to Brazil from 2004 to 2016. Mr Goi, his replacement, is currently the executive chairman of global food group Tee Yih Jia Food Manufacturing and regional real estate developer GSH Corporation. According to Forbes, the self-made entrepreneur has a net worth of US$2.1 billion (S$2.76 billion) and Tee Yih Jia Food Manufacturing, which he owns, is the world’s largest maker of popiah skins.

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/popiah-king-sam-goi-brazil-singapore-ambassador-10159168

Newsline: Panama Withdraws Ambassador to Venezuela in Diplomatic Spat

Panama is withdrawing its ambassador to Venezuela following mutual allegations of corruption between the two nations, insisting Venezuela follow suit and withdraw its own ambassador. In a statement released late Thursday, the Panamanian government cited Venezuela’s suspension of economic, commercial and financial relations with certain Panamanian officials and companies, including Copa airline. “After analyzing the measures of Venezuela, the Panamanian government considers that it is a political reaction that lacks sustenance, and is adopted outside the international legal framework, adopted in retaliation for the actions announced by Panama,” the statement by Panama’s Foreign Ministry reads. The statement did not make clear exactly when Panamanian Ambassador to Venezuela Miguel Mejia would leave his post, or the deadline by which Venezuelan Ambassador to Panama Jorge Duran Centeno should be withdrawn. Venezuela responded late Thursday by saying it would call its ambassador for a consultation: “The Bolivarian government rejects the unacceptable aggression of the anti-popular and corrupt government of President Juan Carlos Varela, against the people of Venezuela,” Executive Vice-President Tareck El Aissami posted on his Twitter account.

https://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Panama-Withdraws-Ambassador-to-Venezuela-in-Diplomatic-Spat-20180405-0018.html

Newsline: Venezuela opens embassy in Azerbaijan

The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela opened in Azerbaijan. Head of the State Protocol Department at the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Parvin Mirzazade received the newly-appointed Charge d’Affaires of the Venezuelan Embassy in Azerbaijan, Pedro Argenis Sanchez Flores. At the meeting, Sanchez Flores handed a letter of Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza Montserrat addressed to Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov on the opening of the embassy and appointment of Sanchez Flores as the Charge d’Affaires.

http://santiagotimes.cl/2018/04/05/venezuela-opens-embassy-in-azerbaijan/