Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for Germany

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.



Newsline: Greenpeace activists scale German embassy in London to protest against coal

Activists from environmental group Greenpeace scaled the German embassy in London, unfurling a giant green banner which called for an end to the use of coal. At least five activists scaled the building on Belgrave Square with a banner which read: “Exit Coal – Protect Hambach Forest,” according to a Reuters photographer at the scene.


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.


Newsline: Germany Says It Hopes Saudi Ambassador Will Soon Return to Berlin

The German government hopes that the Saudi ambassador will return to Berlin soon, a government spokesman said on Wednesday, after a prolonged diplomatic row prompted the kingdom to pull its ambassador from the German capital. The spokesman said Saudi Arabia was an important partner in the region that Germany wanted to cooperate with. He added that the Saudi foreign minister had invited German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas to Riyadh.


Newsline: German Ambassador points out dumpsites in Islamabad

German Ambassador to Pakistan, Martin Kobler, has pointed out heap of dumps in some areas of federal capital Islamabad. Martin Kobler took to Twitter sharing a picture of F7/4 street 56 of Islamabad, pointing out the heap dump. Martin writes, “Just driving through Islamabad. There are beautiful parts, but there are also small dumpsites everywhere like here in F 7/4 street 56. It seems solid waste disposal does not work in many parts.” He went on to say these dumpsites are a health hazard and breeding ground for dengue mosquitoes.


Newsline: Kenyans in Germany demonstrate over poor services by the Kenyan embassy

Kenyans in Germany demonstrated over poor services by the Kenyan embassy in Berlin. They claim the embassy has unfair and unreasonable requirements for the processing of visas using e-passport. They have urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to come to their aid as he promised them two years ago when he visited Germany and recognized them as the 48th County. Most of them claim the embassy cites lack of machine as the reason why it’s takes long for them to process the visas. In the past, they have been forced to fly back to Kenya to have their finger prints taken.


Newsline: Swiss ambassador to Germany laughs off prop fiasco

The new Swiss ambassador to Germany had a rather inauspicious start to the job on Wednesday but was able to see the humour in the situation. Paul Seger was wrapping up his recorded welcome message when things went south. Just after Bern’s new man in Germany expressed his desire that the Swiss embassy in Berlin would be a “house of friendship” and a “meeting place”, the wind picked up, knocking over the German and Swiss flags beside him. There was not a hint of icy Swiss diplomacy as the new ambassador burst out laughing. The embassy didn’t try and hide the incident either, posting the resulting footage on Twitter. Seger replaces Christine Schraner Burgener as the Swiss ambassador to Germany. Schraner Burgener was named the UN Special Envoy on Myanmar in May while Seger was formerly head of mission in Yangon.