Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for India

Newsline: India says its embassy in Pyongyang will remain open

India today informed the US that it has “minimal” trade with North Korea, and that there was a small Indian embassy in Pyongyang which should stay there so that some channels of communication remain open. The issue figured during talks between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. “The fact is that we do have an embassy there even though it is very small,” said Swaraj, responding to a query on whether India would downgrade ties with Pyongyang in light of US attempts to rein in Kim Jong Un diplomatically. “Our trade with North Korea can at best be described as minimal. I told Secretary Tillerson that some countries which are friendly to US should continue to maintain their embassies as it will allow channels of communication to remain open,” added Swaraj.



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: 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: Ukraine Ambassador’s mobile phone snatched while taking pictures in India

Ambassador of Ukraine Igor Polikha’s mobile phone was allegedly snatched near Red Fort. The police have begun a probe into the matter. Around 9:15am, Mr. Polikha was clicking photographs using his mobile phone when an unidentified man appeared, snatched his phone and fled the spot, the police said on Friday. The Ambassador was alone at the time of the incident, with his driver waiting for him a kilometre away. Mr. Polikha immediately approached the police after which the case was registered and teams were formed to nab the alleged snatcher. “We have some clues and several teams have been formed. We’ll solve the case soon,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (North) Jatin Narwal.



Newsline: Indian Embassy in US sets up helpline ahead of Irma landfall

The Indian Embassy in the US opened a round the clock helpline for Indians in need of help in the wake of hurricane Irma, which American officials said could have a catastrophic impact on Florida when it makes landfall there. “We are keeping sort of minute to minute watch on developments. We have set up hotlines. We are in touch with community leaders in Florida area,” Indian Ambassador to US Navtej Sarna said after a review meeting he had on hurricane Irma preparedness. The hotline number is 202-258-8819. Sarna also decided to bolster strength of the Indian Consulate in Atlanta, Georgia, with hurricane Irma expected to make landfall on Florida. Florida comes under the jurisdiction of the Atlanta Consulate.



Newsline: Pakistan summons Indian diplomat

Pakistan summoned the Indian Deputy High Commissioner J P Singh to the Foreign Office to protest against the Indian forces’ recent ‘unprovoked’ ceasefire violations of the Line of Control (LoC) in the Azad Jammu and Kashmir’s (AJK) Chirikot Sector. The firing incident that took place on September 2 resulted in the death of an 8-year-old girl, Momina, at village Polas. On that day, Indian forces also targeted Kakuta and Nullah villages along the LoC. The Foreign Office said the deliberate targeting of civilians was indeed deplorable and contrary to human dignity and international human rights and humanitarian laws. “Despite calls for restraint, India continues to indulge in ceasefire violations,” added an FO statement issued on Monday.



Newsline: American Embassy School employee found dead in India

A 44-year-old employee of American Embassy School was found dead on the banks of the Yamuna in Kashmere Gate. The police said they suspect him to have committed suicide as there were no injury marks on his body. Vipin Chander, a resident of Nangloi who used to work as a cook at the school, had left his home around 5 a.m. on Monday leaving his phone behind. His wife Champa was half asleep when he left and thought he had gone for a stroll but when he didn’t return, the family started looking for him and later approached the police.