Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for Middle East

Newsline: Russia summons Israel’s ambassador over downed military plane

Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Tuesday it had summoned Israel’s ambassador in Moscow over the shooting down of a Russian military plane near Syria. The aircraft was shot down by Syrian anti-aircraft systems but Moscow said Israeli air force jets flying in the same area had put the Russian plane in the line of fire. Israel’s government has not yet commented. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on social media that the Israeli ambassador had been called into her ministry in connection with what had happened near Syria.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/russia-summons-israels-ambassador-over-downed-military-plane-102354411.html

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Newsline: U.S. State Department revokes PLO ambassador family visas

The United States revoked visas for the family of the Palestine Liberation Organization ambassador, the envoy said on Sunday, the latest development in the worsening relations between the Trump administration and Palestinian leadership. Ambassador Husam Zomlot, head of the PLO General Delegation to the United States, said his family, including his two young children, left the United States after being informed their visas would now expire when the diplomatic office is closed next month. The visas were originally set to expire in 2020. The Trump administration said last Monday the office in Washington would close. The State Department did not respond to a request for comment.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-palestinians/u-s-state-department-revokes-plo-ambassador-family-visas-envoy-idUSKCN1LW0RE

Newsline: Czech Republic Considering Moving Embassy to Jerusalem

The Czech Republic is considering moving its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, following a similar move by the United States earlier this year. The opening of a Czech cultural center in Jerusalem in November could be understood as a “first step,” a spokesman for President Milos Zeman said. He added that the move could only happen “in accordance with international law.” The United States riled Palestinians when it moved the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May. Zeman, the most important supporter of the plan to move the embassy to Jerusalem, is expected to hold an official visit to Israel in November.

https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/czech-republic-considering-moving-embassy-to-jerusalem-1.6468901

Newsline: US To Shutter Palestinian Embassy

The United States announced it will shutter the Palestinians’ mission in Washington, adding further pressure on them to enter peace talks with Israel. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert accused the Palestine Liberation Organization of refusing to support negotiations while a Palestinian official called the move a “dangerous escalation” of tensions in the region. “We have permitted the PLO office to conduct operations that support the objective of achieving a lasting, comprehensive peace between Israelis and the Palestinians since the expiration of a previous waiver in November 2017,” said Nauert. “However, the PLO has not taken steps to advance the start of direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel,” Nauert said. “To the contrary, PLO leadership has condemned a US peace plan they have not yet seen and refused to engage with the US government with respect to peace efforts and otherwise,” she said. The announced closure was the latest move by President Donald Trump to push the Palestinians into peace talks, toward what the US president has termed the “ultimate deal.”

https://www.ndtv.com/world-news/us-to-shutter-palestinian-embassy-plo-embassy-palestine-embassy-dangerous-escalation-of-tensions-1914671

Newsline: UAE embassy issues travel warning for Spain

UAE residents and citizens in Spain have been warned that they should exercise caution and be wary of demonstrations and political unrest. This warning was issued by the UAE Consulate General in Barcelona on its Twitter account. According to the post, UAE citizens and residents should take all necessary precautions and avoid demonstrators or areas of political unrest.

https://www.khaleejtimes.com/international/europe/uae-embassy-issues-travel-warning-to-this-european-country

Newsline: Trump’s Israel embassy move irreversible

The US does not have any politicians on the horizon who would dare to reverse Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and relocate American embassy there, according to the US ambassador. Donald Trump’s daring decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish nation in December of last year sparked outrage among Palestinians and Arabs across the world. While previous US administrations had pondered the option of moving the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Trump relocated the mission in May – in a decision so bold that no American politician will be able to reverse it, according to US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman. “I really can’t see that happening, no matter what party is in control. In order for an administration to reverse this, they would have to conclude that Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel and Tel Aviv is. I think that would be a far more controversial thing to do than what the president did,” Friedman noted on Friday, just after Paraguay announced it will move its embassy from Jerusalem back to Tel Aviv.

https://www.rt.com/usa/437987-ambassador-friedman-us-embassy-jerusalem/

Newsline: Iraqi protesters set fire to Iran consulate in southern city

Angry protesters stormed the Iranian consulate in the southern city of Basra, setting a fire inside as part of ongoing demonstrations that have turned deadly in the past few days, a security official and eyewitnesses said. At least 10 protesters have died in clashes with security forces since Monday, including three who were shot dead by security forces on Thursday night as protesters lobbed Molotov cocktails and set fire to a government building and offices of Shiite militias in the city. The protests in Basra and other cities, the most serious to shake Iraq’s oil-rich southern Shiite heartland in years, have since July been calling for an end to endemic corruption, soaring joblessness and poor public services. Clashes erupted earlier this week, leaving several civilians and police dead. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has ordered an investigation into the violence which shows no sign of abating. The violence prompted the temporary head of Iraq’s parliament, the eldest lawmaker, to call an emergency meeting on Saturday to discuss the snowballing protests.

http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2018/sep/07/iraqi-protesters-set-fire-to-iran-consulate-in-sou/