Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for France

Newsline: Iran accuses French police of slow reaction to attack on Paris embassy

Iran said on Saturday that Kurdish activists attacked its embassy in Paris and it accused French police of arriving late on the scene. Paris police confirmed officers had responded to an incident at the embassy on Friday afternoon, but declined to comment on the speed of their response. Fars news agency reported that about 15 Kurdish activists burned the Iranian flag in front of the embassy during the incident and broke some windows with stones. They also threw fire extinguishers and computers at the gate but did not manage to enter the premises, Fars said. “The French government should take all necessary measures to protect Iranian diplomatic missions in that country,” Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi was quoted as saying by the state news agency IRNA on Saturday. “Unfortunately, the French police did not arrive as expected on the scene on time, although the assailants were members of a terrorist organization,” he said. Qasemi said some of the attackers were arrested.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-france-kurds/iran-accuses-french-police-of-slow-reaction-to-attack-on-paris-embassy-idUSKCN1LV0BD

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Newsline: French ambassador calls jokes on WC team ‘white supremacist’

The French ambassador to the United States, Gerard Araud has called out South African comedian Trevor Noah for joking that the France team that won the World Cup last Sunday is African. “By calling them an African team, it seems you are denying their Frenchness. This, even in jest, legitimizes the ideology which claims whiteness as the only definition of being French,” Araud wrote in a letter posted on the French embassy’s Twitter account. The victory of a multicultural French team against Croatia in Sunday’s final in Moscow has reverberated across the globe, being celebrated in France and other places as a triumph for diversity, while it has fanned racist abuse in some corners. Fifteen of the 23-man French World Cup squad have family origins in Africa ranging from Cameroon to Congo and Mali, although only two of them were born in Africa and moved to France when they were still toddlers. “Africa won the World Cup,” Noah, host of The Daily Show, said in a segment on the late-night television programme this week. “I get it, they have to say it’s the French team. But look at those guys. You don’t get that tan by hanging out in the south of France, my friends.”

http://www.africanews.com/2018/07/19/french-ambassador-calls-trevor-noah-s-jokes-on-wc-team-white-supremacist/

Newsline: Iranian diplomat in Austria held over Paris bomb plot

Austria is preparing to strip the diplomatic immunity from an Iranian envoy suspected of planning to bomb Iranian politicians in France. The diplomat and two other arrested people are suspected of plotting to attack a meeting of exiled opposition members in Paris last weekend. Tehran denies any involvement. The diplomatic tension comes a day before President Hassan Rouhani is due to arrive in Austria to discuss a disputed nuclear deal. Two Belgian nationals apprehended in Brussels are reported to be husband and wife, and to be of Iranian origin. The Iranian diplomat, identified as Assadollah A, is ordinarily based in the Austrian capital. But he was arrested in Germany.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-44696311

Newsline: French ambassador to Hungary replaced after pro-Orban memo leaked

President Emmanuel Macron replaced the French ambassador to Hungary over the weekend after a confidential memo in which the envoy praised Hungarian leader Viktor Orban’s migrant policy was leaked to the press. Pascale Andreani was named as the new ambassador to Budapest to replace Eric Fournier, who will take on other functions, a decree published in the official gazette on Saturday showed. In the confidential note dated June 18, which was addressed to Macron’s office and was published by investigative website Mediapart, Fournier said Hungary was a “model” for dealing with migrants and that accusations of populism against Orban were media fabrications. The former ambassador also wrote that French media, by accusing Hungary of antisemitism, were seeking to distract attention from the “real antisemitism” coming from “Muslims in France and Germany”. Asked about the note on Friday, Macron said he did not share the ambassador’s views and that the confidential note did not represent official French policy.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-diplomacy/macron-replaces-hungary-ambassador-after-pro-orban-memo-leaked-idUSKBN1JS0L6

Newsline: France appoints Iran ambassador as Syria envoy

The current French ambassador to Iran Francois Senemaud has been named as President Emmanuel Macron’s personal representative for Syria. The appointment was announced at the weekly cabinet meeting. Senemaud, 61, is expected to leave Tehran in August, Benjamin Griveaux, the government spokesman, told a weekly news briefing and added that France is “not reopening” its embassy. In 2012, France closed its embassy in Syria without formally breaking off diplomatic relations. Franck Gellet, 54, who has just been appointed as French ambassador to Qatar, was working as French envoy to Syria since 2014.

https://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/france-appoints-iran-ambassador-as-syria-envoy-3414952

Newsline: Italy Summons French Ambassador in Row Over Migrant Ship

Italy’s foreign minister summoned the French ambassador to Rome in an escalating row over the Italian government’s decision to block access for a migrant rescue ship. Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi summoned the ambassador to a morning meeting “following the statements made yesterday in Paris on the Aquarius affair,” his ministry said in an emailed statement on Wednesday. French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday that Italy was “cynical and irresponsible” over the migrant vessel which had been left stranded in the Mediterranean after Italy and Malta refused to grant it permission to dock. International law says the country with the nearest coastline is responsible for welcoming ships in distress, Macron told a cabinet meeting, according to government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux. Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, of the anti-immigrant League, has spearheaded a hardline stand on curbing arrivals from across the Mediterranean as a priority for the new populist coalition with the anti-establishment Five Star Movement. The Aquarius, with some 600 people saved from the sea over the last few weeks, is sailing to Spain after the country agreed to welcome the ship.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-13/italy-summons-french-ambassador-in-row-over-migrant-ship

Newsline: France to reopen Gambia Embassy

The foreign affairs minister, J-Baptiste Leymone also announced that France would reopen its embassy in Gambia’s capital, Banjul. The diplomatic office was closed in November 2013, with France explaining that Jammeh’s regime was not open to any productive collaboration, making the office redundant and costly to maintain.

http://www.africanews.com/2018/05/29/france-to-reopen-embassy-in-the-gambia-pledges-58m-development-financing/