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Archive for Asia

Newsline: Chinese diplomats denied spying on international students at embassy dinner in Australia

Chinese diplomats reportedly denied the Communist Party was trying to control international students studying in Australia at a dinner held in Canberra. About a dozen first-term Labor MPs and senators attended a dinner function at the Chinese Embassy in Canberra last October, according to the ABC. The Chinese diplomats present at the meeting – deputy ambassador Cai Wei and first secretary Liu Wei – reportedly tried to convince the Labor cohort China was not spying on or interfering with students studying abroad in Australia. Mr Wei apparently asked how the embassy could possibly keep an eye on “tens of thousands” of students when there were only “three education officers attached to the embassy”.

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/chinese-diplomats-denied-spying-on-international-students-at-embassy-dinner-reports

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Newsline: Turkey summons Russian, Iran’s ambassadors

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry summoned the Russian and Iranian ambassadors claiming that the Syrian government forces had “violated the ceasefire in the Idlib de-escalation zone,” a source in the ministry told reporters. “On January 9, the Russian ambassador was summoned to our Foreign Ministry, we voiced our reaction and concerns in this regard, also asking him to convey the information to the regime in order to make it stop such actions,” the source said. According to him, Iran’s ambassador was also summoned to the Turkish Foreign Ministry as Iran is another guarantor of the Syrian ceasefire. The Russian embassy in Ankara has not issued any comments yet.

http://tass.com/world/984337

Newsline: Iranian Embassy sayd Tehran not using South Africa as recruiting ground

The Iranian Embassy in Pretoria has categorically denied that Tehran is using South Africa as a ground for recruiting agents to carry out attacks on Israel. The embassy told the African News Agency (ANA) in a press statement that it strongly denied reports in the South African media last week following a press release from the Israeli Embassy in Pretoria, based on an intelligence report by Israel’s domestic intelligence agency the Shin Bet, that a three-man cell with South African and Iranian links had been arrested in the West Bank. The media reports stated that three Palestinians were arrested by Israeli security forces, among them the main suspect, a 29-year-old computer engineering student named Mohammed Maharmeh from the Hebron area in the southern West Bank. According to the Shin Bet, Maharmeh was recruited into Iranian intelligence by a relative, Bahar Maharmeh, who resides in South Africa.

https://www.iol.co.za/news/politics/tehran-not-using-sa-as-recruiting-ground-says-embassy-12660896

Newsline: Canada’s Global Affairs won’t confirm if ambassador joined diplomat husband on Myanmar beach

After a Canadian diplomat deleted an “insensitive” tweet about a “perfect” beach in Myanmar, Global Affairs is refusing to confirm if his wife, Canada’s ambassador to Myanmar, had joined him on holiday in a country that is facing widespread international condemnation for a brutal ethnic cleansing campaign. “First day of 2018 unfolded on a Myanmar beach where the great surf is pleasingly turquoise coloured, warm, clean and clear — perfect for snorkelling to visit with nature and the fish,” Canada’s ambassador to Indonesia, Peter MacArthur, tweeted on the morning of Jan. 1 along with a trio of photos showing a deserted stretch of shoreline. CTV News London correspondent Daniele Hamamdjian captured a screengrab and retweeted those words and photos before MacArthur quickly deleted them at the urging of Global Affairs Canada. MacArthur had been on a private trip to the Southeast Asian country where his wife, Karen MacArthur, serves as Canada’s ambassador — a position that comes with additional hardship pay. Although Canadian officials have described the ongoing persecution of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim minority as “ethnic cleansing,” there are no rules that bar diplomats from vacationing in the troubled country, where many large hotels and resorts are financially linked to its military. Myanmar’s military has been accused of being complicit in the longstanding humanitarian crisis. “The government of Canada takes the situation in Myanmar very seriously and is deeply concerned by the ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity that are occurring there,” Global Affairs Canada spokesperson Brianne Maxwell said in an emailed statement to CTV News. “Ambassador MacArthur was advised to delete the Tweet in question.” Peter MacArthur has been working with the department since 1982 and has held positions in countries such as Russia, India and Japan. He has been Canada’s ambassador to Indonesia since 2016.

https://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/global-affairs-won-t-confirm-if-ambassador-joined-diplomat-husband-on-myanmar-beach-1.3748654

Newsline: Dutch arrest eight for attacking Iran embassy

Eight people have been detained in The Hague after they broke into the Iranian embassy and threw projectiles at the building, police said. The suspects were arrested and accused of a variety of offences including sedition, disrupting public order, attempted arson and unauthorised entry, police spokeswoman Hilda Vijverberg told AFP. Footage on public broadcaster NOS shows a group of men shouting “Death to the Islamic Republic” in Farsi, climbing the barrier into the embassy compound and hurling what were probably eggs or pebbles at the building. Dozens of protesters staged demonstrations in The Hague and Amsterdam against the Iranian regime.

https://nation.com.pk/07-Jan-2018/dutch-arrest-eight-for-attacking-iran-embassy

Newsline: Palestine reinstates ambassador to Pakistan

Palestine has reinstated its ambassador to Pakistan after he was recalled for attending a rally organised by the Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC) to protest the US decision on Jerusalem, Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC) chairman said on Sunday. PUC chairman Maulana Tahir Ashrafi told Geo News he had requested Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the country’s Chief Justice to reinstate Walid Abu Ali, in view of the ambassador’s services rendered to Pakistan. The Palestinian president has reinstated Ambassador Walid Abu Ali and he will return to Pakistan on Wednesday to resume his duty, Ashrafi said. Walid Abu Ali was recalled for violating diplomatic norms by attending a mass DPC rally held in the garrison city of Rawalpindi last week to protest the US decision of recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

https://www.geo.tv/latest/175693-palestine-reinstates-ambassador-to-pakistan-tahir-ashrafi

Newsline: Philippine embassy in Tel Aviv disowns ‘strip show’

The Philippine embassy in Tel Aviv disclaimed any involvement in a Christmas party of Filipino groups in Israel that showed one of the guests with a male stripper. Philippine Ambassador to Israel Nathaniel Imperial said the embassy had no hand in the Christmas party recorded on video and photos. A blogger who was neither present at the event nor based in Israel alleged that the party was organized by embassy officials. “The embassy had no hand in that Filipino community event, and calls on everyone to assist in stopping the spread of fake news that may have a detrimental effect on the image of Filipinos in Israel,” Imperial said in a statement. He added that the event was a Christmas party organized by three Filipino groups in Haifa, a city in Israel about an hour’s drive away from Tel Aviv, where the embassy is located.

http://beta.philstar.com/headlines/2018/01/05/1774805/philippine-embassy-tel-aviv-disowns-strip-show