Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for Slovakia

Newsline: Romania, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic consider moving their embassies to Jerusalem

The President of the ruling Social Democratic Party of Romania, Liviu Dragnea, is proposing the move of the country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The Speaker of the Parliament apparently did not consult the foreign ministry in making a statement to this effect. Despite the expression of dismay from Romania’s Deputy Foreign Minister Amal Jado. According to Jado, the move would be against international law and would break ranks with UN Security Council Resolution 478 and the European Union. However, Romania already broke ranks with the European Union on December 21st, abstaining from the General Assembly vote that condemned US President Donald Trump for moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem. Romania was joined by the Visegrad Four — Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic — as well as Croatia and Latvia. Dragnea insists this is a practical move since the government of Israel seats in Jerusalem. Officially, Romania is still committed to a two-state solution in the Middle East. Romania is not alone. Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Tzipi Hotovely has a list of ten countries Israel hopes will follow Washington’s lead. On Thursday the Times of Israel published a number of countries included on the list, including three EU member states: Romania, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic.



Newsline: Facebook unblocks account of Russian embassy in Slovakia

Facebook has unblocked the official account of the Russian embassy in Slovakia, the embassy’s spokesperson Nikolai Levshunov told TASS. “The page is available again,” he said. “Unlike the fake account, this page contains truthful information.” According to Levshunov, Facebook unblocked the embassy’s account after sorting the situation out. After the official account of the Russian embassy was blocked, the fake Slovak-language account was renamed to “The Soviet embassy in Czechoslovakia.” “They post bare faced lies about events in Russia and Slovakia,” Levshunov said.


Newsline: Slovaki envoy to Kenya collapses, dies at embassy

A Slovaki envoy to Kenya collapsed and died at the embassy in Nairobi on Tuesday. The cause of death remains unclear but police said they are investigating the matter. His body was taken to the mortuary for a postmortem on Wednesday morning.


Newsline: Fence around U.S. Embassy in Slovakia to be removed

The U.S. Embassy in Bratislava will move to another building in the capital, because its current seat does not meet its own security criteria, according to a press release from the embassy. A new embassy will be constructed elsewhere in the city. “We will be sorry to leave Hviezdoslavovo námestie [Hviezdoslav Square],” Ambassador Theodore Sedgwick is quoted as saying. “The embassy has had a long and proud history at its current location, especially as a beacon of hope and freedom throughout the dark days of communism. However, the State Department makes security its number one priority.” The embassy building was originally purchased in 1948 and shortly after the Velvet Revolution became the seat of the U.S. Consulate General. When Slovakia became an independent country Jan. 1, 1993, the Consulate General was upgraded to full embassy status. However, following the terror attacks in the United States in September 2001, the country’s diplomatic missions around the world were heavily upgraded. The embassy established a security zone with a high fence around its compound in Bratislava’s historical center, provoking protests by inhabitants and local politicians who resented the restriction on their movement. Once the embassy moves, the street in front of the building on Hviezdoslavovo námestie will once again be accessible to the general public.


Newsline: Japan appoints new ambassadors to Netherlands, Sweden, Slovakia, Azerbaijan, Zambia, Panama, South Sudan

The Japanese government on Friday appointed new ambassadors to the Netherlands, Sweden and 5 other nations, all effective the same day. Masaru Tsuji, 62, who previously served as ambassador to Croatia from January 2012, was appointed as ambassador to the Netherlands, while Seiji Morimoto, 62, was appointed as ambassador to Sweden. The other appointments are Akio Egawa, 62, as ambassador to Slovakia; Tsuguo Takahashi, 62, as ambassador to Azerbaijan; Kiyoshi Koinuma, 58, as ambassador to Zambia; Hiroaki Isobe, 58, as ambassador to Panama; Takeshi Akamatsu, 50, as ambassador to South Sudan.


Newsline: Fake Polish diplomat caught smuggling cigarettes

A man pretending to be a Polish diplomat attempted to smuggle nearly 600 cartons of cigarettes with Ukrainian control stamps from Ukraine to Slovakia. The tax evasion might have exceeded 16,500 euros, the SITA newswire reported.


Newsline: Slovakian Politician’s Gift Book Offends Chinese Embassy

Ondrej Dostal, a member of the National Council of Slovakia, caused a stir at the anniversary celebration of the CCP’s founding of the People’s Republic of China at Hotel Borik in Bratislava, Slovakia, on Sept. 28. Dostal, who is also the vice president of the Human Rights Committee of the Slovak National Council, got thrown out by security after trying to hand the Chinese ambassador a book he didn’t want: “A China More Just,” by disappeared human rights attorney Gao Zhisheng. At the embassy function, Dostal walked up to Chinese Ambassador Gu Ziping during the reception and tried to hand him the book, along with a letter. In the letter, Dostal asks the ambassador to help work to free Gao Zhisheng. The prominent human rights attorney has been severely persecuted by the communist regime in China for his human rights work and criticism of the regime’s human right’s abuses, and his whereabouts is currently unknown. “I join my voice to the voices of world’s democratic public who requests the release of Gao Zhisheng to freedom,” the letter says. The ambassador did not take kindly to Dostal’s appeal, however. After realizing who the author of the book was, he refused to accept it. After Dostal had tried to give it to other embassy personnel, he was escorted off the premises by the diplomatic security police. The incident has drawn significant attention in Slovakia. Secretary of Interior Daniel Lipsic, later commented on the matter in a statement, saying that Slovakia has freedom of speech and that foreign diplomats should respect this. “If an invited guest, no matter if he is a member of parliament or not, is not guilty of any violations, there is no need for intervention,” he said, and added that the matter will be investigated. The Chinese Embassy, however, retorted in a statement that Dostal had come to the embassy function with “ulterior motives” and that he had “seriously damaged the friendship between the two countries and intervened in China’s internal affairs” by trying to hand the ambassador a book.