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Archive for Italy

Newsline: Italian embassy issued ‘9000 visas’ in Libya since March

Ambassador to Libya Giuseppe Perrone noted that the Italian embassy ”is the only one open in Tripoli, amid difficult security conditions” and that Italy ”is the only country that issues visas in Libya. ”We do it both in Tobruk, in Cyrenaica, and in Tripoli,”’ he said, saying that this was an important part of the embassy’s activities in the country. ”I have not seen the most recent figures,” he added, ”but we began to issue visas on March 1 and I believe we are at 8,000 or 9,000 visas if not more.” ”One of the crucial messages that we wanted to give with our presence in Libya,” the ambassador noted, ”is not only attention to inter-governmental relations. We also wanted to do something so that the population is not isolated and could travel. This is one of the signs of the success that the Italian presence has had.”

http://www.ansamed.info/ansamed/en/news/sections/politics/2017/11/21/italian-embassy-issued-9000-visas-in-libya-since-march_d560a041-2cf3-4bc9-a397-17fcacffb9ee.html

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Newsline: Indian Consulate warns students after assaul in Italy

Indian students have been assaulted in a string of incidents in northern Italy, the Indian Consulate in Milan has said. The Consulate General of India (CGI) in Milan on Monday issued an advisory to Indian students and asked them not to panic. “The Consulate has received reports of unfortunate incidents of attacks on Indian students in Milan. All Indian students are urged not to panic. The Consulate is taking up this matter with the highest level of law and order authorities in Milan,” according to the advisory posted on Twitter. The advisory did not mention if the attacks on Indian students appeared to be racially motivated. The CGI advised Indian students to be in touch with each other, especially when they go out.

Indian students assaulted in Italy: Consulate

Newsline: Italy becomes fifth country to expel North Korean ambassador

Italy has become the latest country to expel a North Korean ambassador, saying that isolation was “inevitable” if Pyongyang continued to push ahead with its nuclear weapons program. The decision comes as the United States urges countries that have diplomatic relations with North Korea to sever or at least scale them back. Angelino Alfano, Italy’s foreign minister, said the North Korean ambassador in Rome, Mun Jong Nam, had been ordered to leave. “We want to make Pyongyang realize that their isolation is inevitable if they don’t change tack,” Alfano told Italian newspaper la Repubblica in an interview published Sunday. Mun had been in Rome barely a month, with his appointment announced by the North’s Korean Central News Agency on Aug. 28. Italy becomes the fifth country to expel a North Korean ambassador, following in the footsteps of Spain, Mexico, Peru and Kuwait.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/italy-becomes-fifth-country-to-expel-north-korean-ambassador/2017/10/01/98785c14-a6ad-11e7-8ed2-c7114e6ac460_story.html?utm_term=.5123c92b6742

Newsline: Italy to return ambassador to Cairo, ending standoff over murdered student

Italy said it would return its ambassador to Cairo more than a year after the murder of an Italian graduate student led the Rome government to recall its previous envoy. Giulio Regeni was 28 when he vanished from the streets of Cairo in January 2016. His body was discovered in a ditch on the outskirts of the Egyptian capital on Feb. 3, showing signs of extensive torture. Italy recalled its ambassador in April 2016 as it sought to obtain evidence from Egypt to solve the murder. Magistrates in Rome and Cairo have met a half-dozen times over the past year, but no one has been charged. “The Italian government’s commitment remains to clarify the tragic disappearance of Giulio,” Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano said in a statement. “Sending an authoritative liaison (ambassador) will help, through contacts with the Egyptian authorities, reinforce judicial cooperation and as a consequence the search for the truth,” Alfano said. Regeni, who had been looking into Egypt’s independent unions for his doctorate thesis at Cambridge, attracted the suspicion of the Cairo government before his disappearance, sources told Reuters last year. Security and intelligence sources told Reuters that Regeni had been arrested in Cairo on Jan. 25, 2016, and taken into custody. Egyptian officials have denied any involvement to Regeni’s death.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-italy-egypt-regeni-murder-idUSKCN1AU1YL

Newsline: Indonesian diplomat succumbs to wounds from Rome embassy

Indonesian diplomat Tazwin Hanif has succumbed to injuries sustained in a fire at the Indonesian Embassy in Rome earlier this month. Deputy Ambassador Des Alwi said Tazwin’s condition had worsened significantly in the three days following the incident. Hospital doctors had done some emergency operations but were unable to prevent the patient’s death at 4:25 p.m. local time on Dec. 25. Initially, Tazwin’s injuries from the Dec. 2 incident had described has mild. Tazwin leaves one wife and three children. He was a senior diplomat at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a specialist on the issue of climate change. He was also a member of the evaluation committee at the United Nations’ International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). “The Indonesian Embassy in Rome is coordinating with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the legal process related to autopsy obligations. Once the administrative necessities are cleared, we will bring the body back to Indonesia as soon as possible,” Des said to thejakartapost.com on Dec. 26.

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/12/27/indonesian-diplomat-succumbs-wounds-rome-embassy-fire.html

Newsline: UK, Italian embassies in Libya remain open

Britain’s embassy in Tripoli was virtually the only diplomatic mission still open in Libya’s war-torn capital as fierce fighting prompted other countries to withdraw their diplomats. France had maintained a presence after the Americans evacuated their mission at the weekend, but as the fighting worsened it closed its embassy and withdrew 50 French staff and citizens, along with six British nationals, aboard a warship. Britain’s diplomats are hunkered down in the south-west of the city in a fortified compound nicknamed the Alamo by security guards because of the constant thundering of rockets overhead fired by warring militias nearby. With Libya’s government having all but collapsed, there is understood to be disquiet among some British officials over the decision to remain in the capital. The British ambassador Michael Aron, said there were no plans to evacuate, tweeting: “Rumour control: a small group of British nationals left Tripoli today on a French frigate. I am still here and the embassy is still open!” At the weekend, an attempt to evacuate Britain’s non-essential staff by road was halted when a convoy of jeeps came under fire close to Camp 27, the headquarters of an Islamist militia on Tripoli’s western outskirts. Italy is also keeping its embassy open, in large part to coordinate an “air bridge” of military C130 transport aircraft that Rome says has already ferried more than 100 foreigners from Tripoli. Germany, Japan and the Philippines all closed their embassies, with diplomats journeying by road to Tunisia. Around 4,000-6,000 Libyans are crossing the border daily.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/30/uk-embassy-libya-open-tripoli-fighting

Newsline: US diplomat and CIA operative scapegoated for whistle-blowing

As a presidential candidate in 2008, Barack Obama made many promises. One notable pledge was that, as president, he would strengthen whistle-blower-protection laws to make it easier for federal employees to report waste, fraud and abuse in government. Since then, Obama has signed an executive order and a bill strengthening the rights of whistle-blowers. But the new law does not provide the same protections to government employees who work in the intelligence community and want to report wrongdoing. Former undercover CIA officer Sabrina De Sousa found that out the hard way. In 2005, De Sousa, who was officially listed as a State Department diplomat assigned to the U.S. Consulate in Milan, was implicated in the rendition of a radical Egyptian cleric in Italy named Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, better known as Abu Omar. On February 17, 2003, a white van pulled up and Abu Omar was shoved inside. He was then flown to Egypt, where, he said, he was subjected to brutal torture techniques, such as electric shocks, for four years. Italy launched an investigation into Abu Omar’s abduction in 2005, and in 2007 more than two dozen Americans suspected of being involved in the rendition, including De Sousa. In November 2009, she was sentenced in absentia to a five-year prison term in Italy. Last year, for the first time, De Sousa revealed that she was a CIA operative. For nearly a decade, she had been working behind-the-scenes firing off letters to members of Congress and executive branch officials, informing them that the U.S. violated international laws when the CIA decided to kidnap Abu Omar. In 2009, hoping the response would be different under Obama, she disclosed to then-CIA Director Leon Panetta and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton what she says are troubling details about her treatment by the U.S. government in the aftermath of her whistle-blowing. But, like the Bush administration officials before them, they also ignored her pleas, De Sousa says, and the CIA turned her into a “scapegoat” while the executive branch looked away.

http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/6/26/exclusive-scapegoatingthewhistleblower.html