Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for Asia

Newsline: Iran Summons German Ambassador Over Extradition of Wanted Diplomat

Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency is reporting that the country’s Foreign Ministry has summoned the German ambassador over a German court decision to hand over an Iranian diplomat wanted in Belgium. A German court on Oct. 1 approved the extradition of Vienna-based Assadollah Assadi, who is wanted in Belgium on suspicion he was part of a failed plot to bomb an Iranian opposition rally near Paris on June 30. Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi called the verdict a plot by parties seeking to sever Iran-Europe relations. He offered no evidence for the claim. Assadi was apprehended in July near the German city of Aschaffenburg on a European warrant alleging his involvement in the plot to bomb the rally. His arrest came after a couple with Iranian roots was stopped in Belgium and authorities reported finding powerful explosives in their car.

https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/iran/iran-summons-german-ambassador-over-extradition-of-wanted-diplomat-1.6547898

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Newsline: North Korean diplomat handling nuclear issues arrives in Russia

North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui, who handles nuclear weapons issues and negotiations with the United States, arrived in Moscow on Saturday on a two-country trip that has already taken her to China. According to the Russian Embassy in North Korea, while in Moscow Choe will take part in bilateral consultations with Russia on Monday, and three-way talks including China on Tuesday, with the situation on the Korean Peninsula set to be on the agenda. The trilateral meeting will involve Choe, Russian Vice Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov, who is Russia’s top negotiator on North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, and Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou, who doubles as China’s special representative for Korean Peninsula affairs. During her trip, Choe is expected to seek support from China and Russia, both traditional allies of North Korea, as Pyongyang envisions advancing denuclearization talks with Washington.

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20181007/p2g/00m/0in/002000c

Newsline: German Court Approves Extradition of Iranian Diplomat Over Bomb ‘Plot’

Iranian diplomat Assadollah Assadi, who is believed to be an intelligence agent, ordered a couple to attack the rally and had given them the explosives at a June meeting in Luxembourg. Iranian diplomat Assadollah Assadi, linked to an alleged bomb plot against an Iranian opposition rally, will be extradited from Germany according to the court’s ruling. “The wanted man cannot cite diplomatic immunity because he was on a several day holiday trip outside his host state Austria and not traveling between his host country and the state that dispatched him,” the superior regional court in Bamberg said in a statement. Assadi was detained in July near the German city of Aschaffenburg on a European warrant after a couple of people of Iranian origin were arrested in Belgium and authorities reported finding powerful explosives in their car. The diplomat was charged with conspiracy to commit murder and being a foreign agent. Belgian authorities have accused Assadi of being part of an alleged plot aimed at reportedly setting off explosives at a huge annual rally of the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq group, or MEK, in neighboring France. Six people linked to the case were seized legally in Belgium, France and Germany, two of whom were later released.

https://sputniknews.com/europe/201810011068480411-germany-iran-bomb-plot/

Newsline: Russia summoned South Korea’s ambassador

Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned South Korea’s ambassador in Moscow on Monday and demanded that Seoul allow a Russian vessel to leave South Korea’s port of Busan, the ministry said. The ‘Sevastopol’ has been illegally held at the port, the ministry said without adding what had served as the pretext for the alleged detention.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-southkorea-vessel/russia-summons-south-korean-ambassador-over-vessel-held-at-port-idUSKCN1MB2EC?il=0

Newsline: Pompeo accuses Iran of firing at U.S. embassy in Iraq

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo ordered the closure of a diplomatic mission in Iraq, following rocket launches that he blamed on Iran. “I have advised the Government of Iran that the United States will hold Iran directly responsible for any harm to Americans or to our diplomatic facilities in Iraq or elsewhere and whether perpetrated by Iranian forces directly or by associated proxy militias,” Pompeo said Friday afternoon. That statement came on the heels of an announcement that he had ordered the closure of the U.S. Consulate in Basra, a city in southern Iraq. The “temporary relocation” is taking place just weeks after after an Iranian facility in the same city was set ablaze by protesters angry about Iranian influence in the country. Iran-backed forces alleged that the U.S. had orchestrated the incident, raising concerns of an analogous assault on American diplomats.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/defense-national-security/pompeo-accuses-iran-of-firing-at-u-s-embassy-in-iraq

Newsline: Cambodia to re-open embassy in Bulgaria

Cambodia will re-open its embassy in Bulgaria’s capital, Sofia, in 2019. Prime Minister Hun Sen and Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov met in New York on Friday, Sept. 28, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. On that occasion Hun Sen told his counterpart about the planned re-opening of the embassy that was temporarily closed due to the tenuous political situation in Bulgaria at the time. Mr Borissov welcomed the re-opening of the Kingdom’s embassy in his country and told Hun Sen that it is an opportunity for him to pay an official visit to Bulgaria. Both countries pledged to to enhance cooperation and strengthen their relationship in economic, commercial, and touristic matters.

https://www.khmertimeskh.com/537833/cambodia-to-re-open-embassy-in-bulgaria/

Newsline: North Korea denies running casino out of Moscow embassy

North Korea is denying media reports that it was hosting an illegal casino in its embassy in Moscow. Earlier this month, Russia media reported on a series of raids on 15 underground gambling dens in the Moscow region. Russian investigators believe the illegal operation had been around since May 2016, generating profits of hundreds of millions of rubles each month. These illegal operations were reportedly connected to licensed sports betting operator Panorama, which operates the GreenBet, UnionBet and Winline brands. Over 100 individuals were arrested, including Anton Bazhanov, a reputed high-ranking member of the local “criminal community.” On Wednesday, the Tass news agency quoted a law enforcement source saying that one of the underground casinos was located “on the premises of the North Korean embassy” and that it catered to a VIP clientele of diplomats and lawyers. Komsomolskaya Pravda quoted other law enforcement sources saying they’d been denied access to the premises by embassy staff who cited sovereign territory rights. Following these reports, a North Korean spokesperson denied the allegations, telling Tass: “We know nothing about this.”

https://calvinayre.com/2018/09/28/casino/north-korea-denies-running-casino-moscow-embassy/