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Newsline: EU recalls Tanzania ambassador

The European Union has recalled its ambassador to Tanzania, citing “the deterioration of the human rights and rule of law situation” in the East African country where one regional official last week called for the outing and arrests of homosexuals. A statement emailed to The Associated Press said the EU will be conducting a broad review of its relations with Tanzania. The statement does not cite specific issues, but there are fears of an impending crackdown against homosexuals after Dar es Salaam Commissioner Paul Makonda urged Tanzanians to spy on suspected gays and lesbians and to report their activities. Tanzania’s government has since issued a statement saying Makonda stated his opinion and does not speak for the administration. Tanzania’s government will continue abiding by all international treaties on human rights to which it has committed, it said, adding that it protects all human rights guaranteed in the country’s constitution.



Newsline: Debt-dodging diplomat’s time in New Zealand is up, but money might yet be paid

The diplomat at the centre of a row over unpaid rent for a flash seaside house in Wellington is leaving the country, but her landlord still hopes he will be paid the money he is owed. Eva Tvarozkova, deputy chief of mission for the European Union Delegation to New Zealand, has finished her term and is on the eve of departing New Zealand. Her departure was unconnected to the Tenancy Tribunal case over unpaid rent, the delegation’s political adviser, Lucy Ross said. Her lease of a $1500 a week home in Karaka Bay was supposed to be a three-year tenancy but was abandoned after about six months. Landlords Matthew Ryan and Rebecca Van Den Bos obtained a Tenancy Tribunal order on March 22 awarding them $14,314.27. They should also have got the $6000 bond the tenant paid. But the order was overturned when diplomatic immunity was used to avoid paying the bill. However, Ryan hopes the delegation will make good on an offer to resolve the matter. The European Union and European External Action Service, which oversees EU diplomats, has cleared Tvarozkova. They reviewed the documents and said she complied with her obligations under the lease, according to a statement they issued. In pointing out the immunity to the Tenancy Tribunal they took the necessary legal steps to oppose the landlord’s claims and to protect a staff member from an action it considered unfounded in fact and in law, they said.


Newsline: EU diplomat uses immunity to avoid rent in New Zealand

A European Union staffer has dodged a bill worth thousands of dollars to a landlord by invoking diplomatic immunity in New Zealand. A tribunal in March ordered the EU Delegation’s deputy head of mission in New Zealand, Eva Tvarozkova, to pay $NZ20,000 ($A18,326) to her landlord for unpaid rent and property damage at a Wellington house. Although she didn’t contest the original hearing, Ms Tvarozkova’s lawyers later returned to the tenancy body and argued, as a diplomat, she didn’t have to foot the bill. While New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs lobbied the European delegation to consider waiving immunity, it had no luck, and the tribunal has now overturned its decision, saying Ms Tvarozkova was indeed protected.


Newsline: EU refusing to waive diplomatic immunity in rental stoush in New Zealand

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFAT) is seeking to waive diplomatic immunity in an expensive tenancy dispute. It’s come up against a road block – the European Union. A landlord who rented his high-end house to a diplomat says he was left “high and dry” after a diplomat walked away with $14,000 owed in rent and damage to the property. The Tenancy Tribunal ruled landlords Matthew Ryan and Rebecca Den Bos were owed the money from tenant Eva Tvarozkova, European Union first secretary and deputy head of mission. Diplomats are entitled to automatic diplomatic immunity from New Zealand courts. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) initially told the tribunal it should never have got involved, because Ms Tvarozkova is entitled to diplomatic immunity. The Ministry planned to appeal to the tribunal next month.


Newsline: EU Ambassador Back In Moscow After Recall

EU Ambassador to Russia Markus Ederer has resumed his duties in Moscow. According to the EU spokesperson, Brussels had received valuable information during the course of the consultations with the ambassador. “He was recalled for consultations, which had special significance ahead of the EU Council meeting (which will take place on April 16 in Luxembourg). The consultations are now over, and he has resumed his duties,” the spokesperson noted. The diplomat stressed that the ambassador’s return to Moscow is key for maintaining the unity of EU members and preserving communication with Russia. “The ambassador plays an important role in preserving the unity of the EU and open political dialogue with Russia,” he stressed.


Newsline: Trump Expels Russian diplomats 60, 14 Europeans Also Taking Action

In the U.S. and across the European Union, a number of Russia diplomats are being expelled in a coordinated response to the nerve-agent poisoning of a former Russian spy in the U.K. President Donald Trump has ordered the departure of 60 Russian diplomats. Russia is poised to respond in kind while 14 European nations are unrolling their own action. Germany has expelled four Russian diplomats, and other nations area following in rapid succession. At least 15 European nations, up from 10 are expected to act against Russia, according to the Czech Foreign Minister Martin Stropnicky. The Ukrainians in the meantime have announced via their president the expulsion of 13 Russian diplomats.


Newsline: At least 10 EU nations to expel Russian diplomats in spy row

Russian intelligence agents and diplomats across the European Union will be expelled next week in response to the use of a nerve agent in Salisbury, described by Emmanuel Macron as an “attack on European sovereignty”. At least 10 EU member states will order Russian officials to leave, with the number of countries answering the UK’s call for action expected to rise in the coming weeks. “What happened in Great Britain has clearly never been seen before,” the French president told reporters, at the end of a summit where EU leaders agreed unanimously that Moscow was “highly likely” to be responsible for the assault. “It is an aggression against the security and the sovereignty of an ally, today a member of the European Union, which demands a reaction.” The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, said she agreed there should be further measures, beyond the recall earlier on Friday of the EU’s ambassador to Moscow. France and Germany were among the first countries to back the UK and do not expect the investigation by experts at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to change their conclusions. Macron said the OPCW work would be “useful, but is not going to change our vision of things”.