Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for Asia

Newsline: Top Indonesian general denied entry to US now welcome after embassy apology

A US diplomat apologised to Indonesia’s government after the country’s top general was prevented from travelling to Washington and said Monday the military commander is welcome in the US. Erin McKee, the deputy US ambassador to Indonesia, did not explain why General Gatot Nurmantyo was prevented from boarding a flight to the US but said the matter had been resolved. McKee met with Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi on Monday morning and said she apologised. US Ambassador Joseph Donovan also offered an apology, according to a statement Sunday from the embassy. “We deeply regret the inconvenience that this incident caused and we apologise,” McKee told reporters. “There are absolutely no issues with his ability to travel to the United States. We welcome him. The embassy is working very hard to understand what happened.”



Newsline: Iraq slams attack on Iran consulate in Erbil

Iraq’s Foreign Ministry in a Sat. statement has condemned a pre-planned attack on Iranian consulate in Erbil, holding authorities of the Kurdistan region responsible for endangering lives of the consulate staff. “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iraq condemns the pre-planned attack on Iran’s consulate in Erbil and the disrespect to the flag of the neighboring country and the endangering of lives of the consulate staff,” Iraq’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Mahjoob said in a statement. The Iraqi foreign ministry also slammed attacks on other consulates and UN offices in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iraq holds authorities of the Kurdistan region fully responsible for the life and safety of the consulates’ staff,” the spokesman added. In a statement issued on Sunday, Iran’s consulate in Erbil condemned the Friday attack, reminding the KRG authorities of their duty to protect diplomatic sites and civilians.


Newsline: India urged to open Luxembourg embassy

Luxembourg needs firmer trade relations with India and the world’s second-most populous nation should open an embassy in the Grand-Duchy, the head of the Indian Business Chamber Luxembourg (IBCL) said. “The message from Luxembourg to India is we would like to welcome official representation,” IBCL President Pedro Castilho told a gathering of around 500 people in Mondorf in south-eastern Luxembourg on Saturday night. “That means opening an embassy.” India currently runs an embassy for Belgium, Luxembourg and the European Union from Brussels. It was established in 1948 and is led by Ambassador Gairti Issar Kumar.


Newsline: China fears envoy in Pakistan might be attacked, requests more security

The Chinese embassy in Pakistan has requested more security for its ambassador in the wake of information that he is likely to be attacked. Quoting sources, Express News reported that in a letter written to the interior ministry, the Chinese embassy has said that a terrorist had entered the country to attack Yao Jing. The embassy has requested the government to take immediate action on the intelligence information, and provide security to the ambassador.


Newsline: China summons British ambassador to Beijing

Beijing summoned London’s ambassador in a tit-for-tat protest stemming from Hong Kong’s denial of entry to a British human rights activist. The Chinese government decried “a raft of incorrect comments” coming out of London in recent days, in signs of increasingly strained Sino-British ties. Benedict Rogers was refused entry to the city upon arrival at Hong Kong International Airport on October 11. He was then put on a plane to Thailand, where he had just come from, and returned to London. He is deputy chairman of the British Conservative Party’s human rights commission and has long campaigned for rights and freedoms in Asia. He said Chinese representatives in Britain had earlier indirectly warned him against travelling to the city, fearing he would visit jailed pro-democracy activists, although he denied having such intentions.


Newsline: Indian Embassy in US involved in search for missing girl in Texas

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has voiced “deep concern” over a three-year-old Indian girl in Texas who has been missing since October 7 after her foster father made her stand outside the house as punishment for not drinking milk. She said the Indian Embassy is actively involved in the search. “We are deeply concerned about the missing child. Indian Embassy in US is actively involved and they keep me informed,” Sushma Swaraj tweeted late on Thursday night. According to reports, Sherin Mathews had gone missing from her home in Richardson, Texas. Her father Wesley Mathews told police he’d sent his daughter — in her pyjamas at 3 a.m. on October 7 — to stand alone beneath a tree outside the home as “punishment for refusing to drink milk”. When he went to the spot after sometime, the girl was not there. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has joined the probe along with the police. The FBI has searched the Mathews’ house.


Newsline: North Korea’s deputy UN ambassador warns nuclear war ‘may break out any moment’

North Korea’s deputy UN ambassador warned that the situation on the Korean peninsula “has reached the touch-and-go point and a nuclear war may break out any moment.” Kim In Ryong told the UN General Assembly’s disarmament committee that North Korea is the only country in the world that has been subjected to “such an extreme and direct nuclear threat” from the United States since the 1970s – and said the country has the right to possess nuclear weapons in self-defence. He pointed to large-scale military exercises every year using “nuclear assets” and said what is more dangerous is what he called a U.S. plan to stage a “secret operation aimed at the removal of our supreme leadership.” This year, Kim said, North Korea completed its “state nuclear force and thus became the full-fledged nuclear power which possesses the delivery means of various ranges, including the atomic bomb, H-bomb and intercontinental ballistic rockets.”