Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for Asia

Newsline: Qatari Embassy in Colombo sees no need for evacuation of Sri Lankans

The Qatari Embassy in Colombo said on Tuesday that there were no plans of an emergency evacuation of 150,000 Sri Lankans in the Gulf state. The embassy advised Sri Lankans not to be misled by reports on emergency evacuation plans for the 150,000 Sri Lankans in Qatar, which the embassy dubbed as their “second home.” “Officials from Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry and the embassy in Doha confirmed that there is no need for such measures as the diplomatic rift left no adverse impacts on the normal life of citizens and the expatriates as well,” the Qatari Embassy said. Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen cut diplomatic ties and transport links with Qatar earlier this month after accusing the small Gulf state of supporting terrorism and aligning with Iran.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-06/20/c_136381052.htm

Newsline: Norway’s former ambassador to Indonesia could face charges

Norway’s former ambassador to Indonesia was stripped of his title late last year and recalled to Oslo, after he was found to have been involved in supplying foreign aid funds to one of three mistresses he had in Jakarta. He still works as a diplomat for the foreign ministry in a high position, newspaper VG reported this week, but could face criminal charges if the ministry had reported his activity to police. VG reported that Traavik entered into a “secret relationship” in the fall of 2013 with an Indonesian woman who already had received around NOK 1.5 million (USD 179,000) in Norwegian funding for various cultural projects through the embassy in Jakarta. She had applied in April 2013 for more Norwegian funding and her organization received NOK 550,000, through documents VG recovered from the ministry’s archive that were signed by Traavik in May 2013. The former Norwegian ambassador’s activity in Jakarta raises new questions about how Norway manages its billions of kroner set aside for foreign aid aimed at fighting poverty and spurring economic development.

http://www.newsinenglish.no/2017/06/20/scolded-ambassador-could-face-charges/

Newsline: Chinese issues safety warning after citizen shot dead in Laos

Chinese Embassy in Laos on Sunday issued a safety warning after a Chinese citizen was shot dead in Lao’s central Xaysomboun province. According to the embassy, a Chinese citizen was shot dead by unidentified persons on Friday in Xaysomboun province, some 130 km northeast of Lao capital Vientiane. The Lao side is currently investigating the incident, the embassy said. In its safety warning, the embassy reminds Chinese citizens and institutions in Laos to further improve safety awareness and strengthen security precautions. In case of emergency, Chinese citizens should immediately report to Lao police, and contact the Chinese embassy and consulate in Laos, it said. Previously on March 1, 2016, a Chinese company in the northern Luang Prabang province was attacked by an unidentified armed group, leaving one Chinese citizen dead and three others injured. On Jan. 24, 2016, an attack by an unidentified group in Xaysomboun province killed two Chinese people and injured one. The safety warning by Chinese Embassy in Laos is effective for six months until Dec. 18, 2017.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-06/18/c_136375402.htm

Newsline: Ex-chief accountant of Russian embassy in Vietnam to go on trial on embezzlement charges

Former chief accountant of Russian embassy in Vietnam Vladislav Balabkin charged with embezzling 6 million rubles (about $104,700) will go on trial, the official website of the Prosecutor General’s Office said. Investigators allege that In February 2013, Balabkin abused trust of Russian ambassador and received $200,000 from joint Vietnamese-Russian bank in Hanoi for his own purposes. The embassy received damage estimated at 6 million rubles as a result. Balabkin admitted guilt in full. His case will be reviewed by the Presnensky District Court of Moscow.

http://rapsinews.com/judicial_news/20170615/278953323.html

Newsline: Philippine Embassy in Japan to aid seamen aboard ship that collided with US Navy destroyer

The Philippine Embassy in Tokyo, Japan is ready to help the Filipino crew onboard the Philippine-flagged merchant vessel that collided with a US Navy destroyer south of Tokyo Bay, a Palace official said on Saturday. The Philippine Embassy in Tokyo was closely monitoring the situation in coordination with Japanese and US authorities after US Navy destroyer USS Fitzgerald collided with the Philippine-flagged container ship ACX Crystal off the coast of Japan. The Department of Foreign Affairs earlier said it is monitoring updates in the collision incident. Seven US crew members are missing and at least three hurt in the collision incident, the US Navy said.

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/614874/phl-embassy-in-japan-to-extend-assistance-to-pinoy-seamen-onboard-ship-collided-with-us-navy-destroyer-palace/story/

Newsline: Russia’s embassy urges North Korea to release crew of detained yacht

Russia’s Embassy in North Korea has called on the authorities to release the crew of a detained Russian yacht Katalexa, a spokesman for the diplomatic mission in Pyongyang, Denis Samsonov, told TASS on Friday. The embassy has “expressed bewilderment” over a statement of the North Korean Foreign Ministry’s consular department that the yacht was detained while sailing in the Sea of Japan for violating the country’s border. According to Samsonov, the Russian yacht was detained in the area located no closer than 50 miles away from the shore. Now Katalexa is in the port of Rajin, in the country’s northeast. Russia’s Consul-General in Chongjin Yury Bochkarev is heading there to meet with the crew members and verify details of the incident. The head of Russia’s company in Rajin, RasonKonTrans, Ivan Tonkih is finding out if the Russians have drinking water and food. The Katalexa yacht was being towed from Taiwan to the Russky Island off Vladivostok, in Russia’s Far East, the regional Yachting Sport Federation told TASS. According to this organization, three crew members were onboard the yacht. Last year, another Russian yacht en route from South Korea’s Busan to Vladivostok was apprehended approximately 80 miles from the North Korean coast. The vessel was released when Russian diplomats intervened. North Korean authorities said it was held “by mistake” after a crew of a North Korean fishing vessel noticed a South Korean logo on its hull.

http://tass.com/politics/951721

Newsline: China to Upgrade Trade Development Office in Panama to Embassy

The China-Panama Trade Development Office, currently China’s highest representative office in the country, will be upgraded to a full Chinese embassy. Wang Weihua, permanent representative of the office, disclosed that the embassy will be built in Panama City. Wang’s remarks came soon after China and Panama signed a joint communique on the establishment of diplomatic relations on June 13. More staff will be recruited and a new location will be scouted to build a more permanent embassy, Wang said. The Office of China-Panama Trade Development is located in an office building.

https://sputniknews.com/politics/201706151054644172-china-upgrades-panama-office-embassy/