Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for Ireland

Newsline: Irish diplomats had lavish embassies decked out with €100,000 worth of art and crafts

Pampered diplomats at the Irish Embassy in London had their plush digs decked out with art and crafts worth €100,000 this year. The splurge comes as there are still more than 10,000 homeless here at home – including 4,000 children. The Irish Mirror has uncovered lavish spending of the Department of Foreign Affairs on art for our embassies around the world. (https://www.irishmirror.ie/news/irish-news/pampered-irish-diplomats-lavish-embassies-21165690) But it is the money spent on art for the diplomatic corps in London that is most jaw-dropping, where buying paintings at €15,000 a pop was common and paying hundreds of euros for bowls the norm.

Newsline: Ireland plans to open embassy in Ukraine

Ireland plans to open a diplomatic mission in Ukraine next year, the press service of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said. According to the report, this issue was discussed at a meeting between Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko and Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney. (https://www.ukrinform.net/rubric-polytics/2832230-ireland-plans-to-open-embassy-in-ukraine.html) “The Ukrainian minister welcomed the Irish side’s intentions to open the Embassy of Ireland in Ukraine in 2020. The sides agreed that the launch of the Irish diplomatic mission will turn over a new leaf in bilateral relations and create additional opportunities for their progressive development in many areas,” the report said.

Newsline: Ireland opens its first Embassy in Colombia

Colombia took the first step when it opened its first Embassy in Dublin last year, and in January, Ireland reciprocated, with its first-ever diplomatic representation in the country. Ireland’s presence in Colombia dates to back to Simón Bolívar and the Independence campaign when 1,000 Irish volunteers left Europe in the 19th century under the command of the Cock-born General Daniel Florence O’Leary (1801- 1854). “We have a very long history with Colombia,” says Ambassador Milton, recalling one of Bolívar’s closest confidants and well-known figure in Colombian history. (https://thecitypaperbogota.com/news/republic-of-ireland-opens-its-first-embassy-in-colombia/21887) The opening of an Irish Embassy in Bogotá was, therefore, the Ambassador explains, “in the offing for some time” and a decision that comes as Ireland expands its missions’ network across Latin America.

Newsline: US citizen held in Moscow on espionage charges seeks Irish consular assistance

A former US Marine arrested last week on espionage charges in Russia has sought Irish consular assistance. Canadian-born Paul Whelan is a US citizen and also holds an Irish passport. He was arrested while he was in Moscow to attend a wedding. The Department of Foreign Affairs said: “The Embassy of Ireland in Moscow has requested consular access to an Irish citizen currently detained in Russia after receiving a request for assistance. “The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will provide all possible and appropriate assistance in relation to this case.” Mr Whelan is also a British citizen and is seeking assistance from all embassies of countries of which he is a citizen.


Newsline: Ireland’s 10 new embassies to open this year to tap into new markets

Opening 10 new Irish embassies in 2019, with a further three openings scheduled in 2020, is linked to Ireland’s Brexit strategy, according to Tánaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney. In announcing the government’s plans for this year, the Tánaiste also defended the costly practice of leasing, rather than buying property abroad. By the end of 2019 Ireland will have opened the following new missions: Vancouver (completed), Wellington (completed), Monrovia (completed), Mumbai (Q1, 2019), Bogotá (Q1, 2019), Santiago de Chile (Q1, 2019), Amman (Q1, 2019), Cardiff (Q2, 2019), Los Angeles (Q4, 2019), Frankfurt (Q4, 2019). The government is planning a further three openings in 2020: Kyiv (Q4, 2020), Manila (Q4, 2020), and Rabat (Q4, 2020). Coveney said “there is an element of a Brexit strategy” in opening these new embassies in terms of some sectors having an over-reliance on trade with the UK, stating that there are new markets Irish businesses can tap into.


Newsline: Brexit vote prompts New Zealand to open embassy in Ireland

New Zealand opened its first ever embassy in Ireland with a traditional Maori blessing and a visit by the country’s deputy prime minister. The embassy, on Merrion Row in Dublin city centre, will help cement existing ties with the Pacific and benefit future trade relationships between Ireland and New Zealand, officials said. The new ambassador, Brad Burgess, was joined by government officials and deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs Winston Peters for the ceremony. Mr Peters said the opening of the embassy was triggered by Britain’s vote to leave the European Union two years ago. “The moment the Brexit decision happened on the 23rd of June 2016, it became very clear that we would have to, with respect to Ireland, set up an embassy here.” It was “one of the first decisions we made that we could no longer think of servicing out of London, which was what had been going on in the past. That’s why we made the decision”, Mr Peters said. Mr Peters said New Zealand needed a close relationship with Ireland “and vice versa”.


Newsline: Ireland to open embassy in Ukraine

Making an official visit to Ireland on June 27-28, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin has reached the agreements on the opening of the Embassy of Ireland in Ukraine. “The visit to Ireland will be remembered for many moments and results… including the agreement on the opening of the Embassy of Ireland in Ukraine,” Klimkin posted on Facebook.