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Newsline: Kenya to open embassy in Jakarta in 2020

The government of Kenya plans to open an embassy in Jakarta in 2020, according to the Kenyan cabinet secretary of foreign affairs, Monica Juma. This was revealed by Juma during a meeting with Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi on the sidelines of the 12th Bali Democracy Forum in Nusa Dua, Bali. “Preparations are being made and hopefully by mid-2020 the Kenyan Embassy in Jakarta will be opened,” Retno said. Kenya’s mission to Indonesia is currently led by a non-resident envoy based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/12/06/kenya-to-open-embassy-in-jakarta-in-2020.html) Diplomatic relations between Indonesia and Kenya began in 1979 and a few years after that, in 1983, Indonesia opened its embassy in Nairobi.

Newsline: China Summons U.S. Embassy Official Over Uighur Bill

China summoned a representative of the U.S. embassy on Wednesday to protest against a U.S. House of Representatives bill about Beijing’s treatment of its Uighur Muslim minority, state television reported. Vice Foreign Minister Qin Gang made “stern representations” to William Klein, the U.S. embassy’s minister counselor for political affairs, and urged the United States to stop interfering in China’s domestic affairs, according to the report. (https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2019-12-04/china-summons-us-embassy-official-over-uighur-bill) The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a bill that would require the Trump administration to toughen its response to China’s crackdown on the Muslim minority, angering Beijing and further straining an already testy relationship.

Newsline: Israel barring Malaysian ‘Embassy to Palestine’ because of antisemitism

Israel has refused to grant officials from Malaysia access to Ramallah in light of Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s antisemitic statements, The Jerusalem Post has learned. (https://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Israel-barring-Malaysian-Embassy-to-Palestine-because-of-antisemitism-609646) As a result, Malaysia opened an “Embassy to Palestine” in Amman. Israel will not allow any Malaysian officials to visit Palestinian Authority offices in the West Bank, a break in policy toward other Muslim countries with which Israel does not have official relations. “Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has led an extremist anti-Israel and antisemitic policy, including prohibiting Israeli athletic delegations from entering his country, not allowing Malaysian citizens into Israel, and hostile declarations with an antisemitic tinge,” said the Foreign Ministry. “Such behavior does not allow for any possibility of a Malaysian foothold in Israeli territory.” Mohamad has called Jews “hook-nosed,” and said that “Jews rule this world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them.” “Jews do a lot of wrong things,” the 93-year-old Malaysian prime minister said in June at Cambridge University, adding that if he could, he would invade Israel. Mohamad has said he is “glad to be labeled antisemitic,” and in a September event at Columbia University in New York asked why people think it’s a problem for him to criticize Jews.

Newsline: Iran’s Embassy In London Denies Ambassador Is A Menace To Journalists

In an official tweet on Monday December 2, the Islamic Republic’s embassy in the U.K. denied that Tehran’s ambassador to London has ever been a menace to any journalist. Earlier on Tuesday November 26, the Paris-based Reporters without Borders (RSF) had described Tehran’s top diplomat in London, Hamid Baeidinejad as the “ambassador of threat.” In a statement released on its official website, RSF had deplored Baeidinejad for his role in relaying the threats of Iranian intelligence organs against Iranian journalists based abroad, especially in Britain and against their families in Iran. “Ever since Hamid Baeidinejad—took over as the Islamic Republic’s ambassador in London, he has been threatening these media and journalists on Twitter,” the statement said. “Accusing journalists of being the “agents and mercenaries of foreign services, paid by the country’s enemies and acting against the national interest,” the statement said. (https://en.radiofarda.com/a/iran-s-embassy-in-london-denies-ambassador-is-a-menace-to-journalists/30303983.html) Referring to the RSF statement, Tehran’s embassy in London twitted, “The allegations against the ambassador of Iran to the U.K. issued by the Reporters Without Borders, and carried by some Western media, are categorically false and rejected. Ambassador Baeidinejad has never threatened anyone, let alone any journalist.”

Newsline: Thousands march in Hong Kong to US consulate

Thousands of people in Hong Kong marched to the U.S. consulate on Sunday in a show of thanks to Congress and President Trump for passing and signing a law supporting their cause last week. Riot police responded with canisters of tear gas and rubber bullets after demonstrators threw bricks and smoke bombs. (https://www.axios.com/hong-kong-protests-us-consulate-trump-law-410779d0-ccc8-445c-bf40-e5c7c5e1a08b.html) The marches ended a brief lull in demonstrations after the region held elections for its district council, which saw pro-democracy candidates win a landslide victory. Some protesters said the marches were necessary to pressure city leader Carrie Lam to make concessions, as she has only accepted one of their five demands thus far — the withdrawal of the extradition bill that set off the months-long crisis.

Newsline: Kim Jong Un’s Uncle Returns from Czech Republic After Quitting as Ambassador

Kim Jong Un’s uncle has returned to North Korea after quitting his job as the isolated nation’s ambassador to the Czech Republic, Yonhap News reported, citing lawmakers. Kim Pyong Il is the half-brother of the North Korean leader’s late father Kim Jong Il. Lawmakers were briefed on the move by the head of the National Intelligence Service, the news agency said. (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-12-01/kim-jong-un-s-uncle-returns-after-quitting-as-ambassador-yonhap) Pyong Il was once considered a potential successor of his brother, but he’s been distant from power since moving out of the country in 1988 to take an ambassador job in Hungary, the report said.

Newsline: Caribbean officials linked to diplomatic passport sale

Politicians in the Caribbean are said to be involved in a corrupt trade of diplomatic posts in exchange for money, an Al Jazeera investigation has revealed. In Diplomats for Sale, Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit exposes politicians in Dominica and Grenada willing to accept secret campaign contributions from wealthy foreign businessmen in exchange for diplomatic passports. In Dominica, members of both main political parties appear willing to receive money in return for a political post, allegations they strongly deny. Undercover filming reveals how former Dominican Prime Minister Oliver Seraphin offered to broker a secret deal to hand out an ambassadorship in Asia for fees totalling $470,000. (https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/11/exclusive-caribbeanofficials-linked-diplomatic-passport-sale-191124104333064.html) The revelation comes days ahead of a general election in Dominica on December 6, in which Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit is up for re-election. Al Jazeera’s investigation also reveals Skerrit allegedly took hundreds of thousands of dollars for his 2014 election campaign from an Iranian businessman named Alireza Monfared in exchange for an ambassadorship for Dominica to Malaysia.