Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for Sweden

Newsline: Swedish foreign ministry investigates ambassador to China

Sweden’s ambassador to China is under internal investigation, the embassy said Thursday, after she set up meetings between the daughter of a detained Swedish publisher and two businessmen that appeared to have gone awry. Ambassador Anna Lindstedt returned to Stockholm on Wednesday to meet with officials from the foreign affairs ministry, the Swedish Embassy in Beijing said by phone. Lindstedt is not under criminal investigation. The embassy declined to give further details, but the ministry confirmed that Lindstedt’s departure was related to meetings she arranged between Angela Gui, the daughter of detained Swedish book publisher Gui Minhai, and the two businessmen. “The ambassador has acted incorrectly in the sense that the foreign ministry had no knowledge that the meetings took place,” spokeswoman Catherine Johnsson told The Associated Press (https://www.kentucky.com/news/business/article226252170.html). She said the internal investigation was aimed at getting “an overall picture of what has happened,” and that “as far as the action of the ambassador is concerned, we must wait for what the inquiry will come up with.”

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Newsline: Chinese Embassy in Sweden issues safety alert

The Chinese Embassy in Sweden issued a safety alert. According to the safety alert, recently, there are more cases where Chinese tourists have been victims of theft and robbery, as well as cases where victims were treated poorly by Swedish police. China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Chinese Embassy in Sweden said they are concerned about the safety and legitimate rights of Chinese citizens visiting the country. In the announcement, the embassy urged Chinese citizens in Sweden to increase their safety awareness and strengthen safety precautions. In the event of an emergency, evidence should be also collected while ensuring safety. It also stated that Chinese citizens are urged to immediately call the police and contact the Chinese Embassy in Sweden for help.

http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1119659.shtml

Newsline: Guatemalan court halts removal of Swedish ambassador

Guatemala’s highest court has halted the government’s request that Sweden remove its ambassador. The Constitutional Court ruled that the administration of President Jimmy Morales must follow established international rules in resolving the issue. In early May, the government asked Sweden and Venezuela to remove their ambassadors and accused them of interfering in Guatemala’s internal affairs. Swedish ambassador Anders Kompass was given 30 days to leave after he announced Sweden’s financial support for a United Nations-sponsored commission investigating corruption in Guatemala. The commission, which goes by the initials CICIG, had accused President Jimmy Morales of corruption related to alleged illegal campaign financing while he was secretary general of his party. Morales subsequently tried unsuccessfully to expel the commission’s head, Ivan Velasquez, from the country.

https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/guatemalan-court-halts-removal-swedish-ambassador-55521969

Newsline: Egyptian authorities denied a Swedish diplomat entry into the country

A Swedish diplomat was denied entrance into Egypt this week upon arrival at Cairo International Airport. Anne Madeleine, who is an employee of the Swedish embassy in Turkey, did not have the proper entry visa required for diplomats, a security source told local media. Although Madeleine had submitted her passport to terminate arrival procedures for tourism, she did not have the appropriate diplomatic visa. Passport authorities at the airport consulted with Assistant Foreign Minister Ayman Musharaf before making the decision. Musharaf made the call to enforce the principle of reciprocity, denying entry to the Swedish envoy. Since 2010, Egypt has enforced the principle of visa reciprocity. This means that envoys of nations that require Egyptian diplomats to obtain a visa prior to arrival are forced to do the same when traveling to Egypt.

https://stepfeed.com/egyptian-authorities-denied-a-swedish-diplomat-entry-into-the-country-5785

Newsline: Guatemala asks Sweden, Venezuela to remove ambassadors over ‘interference’

Guatemala asked the governments of Sweden and Venezuela to withdraw their ambassadors, accusing the diplomats of interfering in domestic politics and calling the country corrupt. Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales has been assailed by graft accusations against his family, and he has been at loggerheads with a United Nations-backed anti-corruption body of which Sweden is a prominent backer. “Because Ambassadors Anders Kompass and Elena Alicia Salcedo Poleo have, in the course of their work, assumed attitudes that result in interference in the internal affairs of Guatemala, the governments of Sweden and Venezuela have been asked to withdraw them,” the foreign ministry said in a statement. Foreign Minister Sandra Jovel told a news conference the requests to remove the ambassadors had nothing to do with the UN-backed International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), however.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-guatemala-diplomacy/guatemala-asks-sweden-venezuela-to-remove-ambassadors-over-interference-idUSKBN1IC06Y

Newsline: Suspected arson at Portugal’s embassy in Sweden

Swedish authorities are investigating a large fire that broke out at the Portuguese embassy in central Stockholm on Wednesday. The fire is being treated as arson according to the Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva. “Everything points to an isolated act from a disturbed person who demanded to speak with the official in charge of the portuguese consular service. His demand was accepted but before they could speak he acted criminally by starting a fire and then running away.” said Silva in a televised statement from Lisbon. According the police 14 people received medical assistance after the fire and two were taken to hospital for smoke inhalation though none are believed to be in a serious condition. Police have now arrested a man linked to the investigation but will not comment on his role.

http://www.euronews.com/2018/04/04/suspected-arson-at-portugal-s-embassy-in-sweden

Newsline: Police suspect arson after fire at Stockholm embassy building injures 14

Police in Stockholm have arrested a man on suspicion of arson after a fire at an embassy building injured 14 people. The alarm was raised about the fire at the Narvavägen building housing the embassies of Portugal, Tunisia, Argentina and Belgium as well as apartments and a restaurant at around lunchtime on Wednesday afternoon. “The operation is still ongoing. Around 14 people have been affected by the fire, with no serious injuries but smoke and minor injuries,” Stockholm police press spokesperson Kjell Lindgren told The Local. “The latest information from the fire fighters is that there’s no one left in the building, but they’re still working to extinguish the fire in the apartment section.” Lindgren said police were looking to speak to a person who they “think could have something to do with” the incident, with a description released to the public in an effort to locate him. Asked if it’s thought the fire was started deliberately, Lindgren affirmed “we think it was lit by someone, which is why we’ve started an investigation into arson”. An arrest was made in central Stockholm just after 2pm on Wednesday, with a man arrested suspected of arson on reasonable grounds (the lower degree of suspicion according to Swedish law).

https://www.thelocal.se/20180404/police-suspect-arson-after-fire-at-stockholm-embassy-building-injures-14