Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for Regions

Newsline: Tunisia reopens consulate in Libyan capital Tripoli

Tunisia has reopened its consulate in the Libyan capital, the Libya foreign ministry said, the latest mission to return to Tripoli. Most embassies left Tripoli in 2014 when heavy fighting broke out between rival factions and few came back when a U.N.-backed administration took office in 2016. The Tunisian consulate resumed work after talks between the two countries, the Libyan foreign ministry said. The Tunisian foreign ministry declined to comment, but a diplomatic source confirmed the move. Tunisia closed its mission after ten staffers were kidnapped in 2015.



Newsline: New US Consulate in Matamoros, Mexico has $176 million price tag

Construction of the new U.S. Consulate General in Matamoros has begun on a new $176 million, 7.6-acre consulate site. The multi-building campus will include a chancery, Marine security guard residence, support buildings and facilities for the consulate general community. Completion is expected in May 2019. Tony Garza, the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico from 2002 to 2009, said this project was in the works during his tenure. And despite some harsh words toward the border, Mexico and Central America from President Donald Trump, this project shows a good relationship between the United States and its southern neighbor, Garza said.


Newsline: Uruguay’s top diplomat slams US request to expel Russian diplomats as improper

Washington’s request that other countries also expel Russian diplomats is improper, Uruguay’s Foreign Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa said. “I did not take this request well, I said it was improper and it should not have been made,” the top diplomat said as cited by the El Pais newspaper. “Uruguay is an independent country and determines its relations with the world itself,” Nin Novoa added. In late March, US President Donald Trump called on leaders of other countries to join Washington’s decision to expel Russian diplomats.


Newsline: Czechs to open honorary consulate in Jerusalem

The Czech Republic will open a new honorary consulate in Jerusalem in the next few months, the country’s acting prime minister, Andrej Babiš, said on Friday. He added that the government was considering opening a Czech Centre in the city during a planned visit to Israel by the Czech president, Miloš Zeman, at the end of 2018. Mr. Zeman has for some time backed the idea of moving the Czech Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. However, Mr. Babiš rejected that idea in December when US leader Donald Trump announced a similar intention. The United Nations and the EU insist on a two-state solution under which Jerusalem would one day be the capital of both Israel and a future Palestinian state. Mr. Babiš said opening a Czech Centre in the city would not contradict that position.


Newsline: Britain blocks new Chinese embassy in London, sparking diplomatic row

UK is refusing to give China the all-clear for a new embassy in London in an extraordinary diplomatic row. Sources say the Government insists it will only be approved if the Chinese agree to a request to give up control of a road next to Britain’s embassy in Beijing. The Chinese have refused to follow normal practice and designate the road as British soil, which infuriated the Foreign Office. China plans to move its embassy from Marylebone to a building on the site of the old Royal Mint near the Tower of London. A real estate company is also looking at sites close to the new 12-storey US embassy in Vauxhall. Insiders in the Foreign Office last night said officials had spoken to the Chinese government about its plans to move to new premises several times and claimed the talks had been positive and constructive. A spokesman said that the ­Foreign Office “did not recognise” claims of a stand-off.


Newsline: Romania to move Israeli embassy to Jerusalem

The Romanian government has approved a memorandum to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, the leader of Romania’s ruling Social Democrats said. If confirmed, the move would put Romania among the first countries to take this step after the United States. US President Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last December and announced the upcoming move of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Trump’s decision infuriated Arab allies and dismayed Palestinians who see the East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.


Newsline: ‘Popiah King’ Sam Goi appointed Singapore’s non-resident ambassador to Brazil

Businessman Sam Goi, also known as Singapore’s “popiah king”, has been appointed the country’s non-resident ambassador to Brazil, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) announced on Friday (Apr 20). The post was last held by former Keppel CEO Choo Chiau Beng, who was Singapore’s non-resident ambassador to Brazil from 2004 to 2016. Mr Goi, his replacement, is currently the executive chairman of global food group Tee Yih Jia Food Manufacturing and regional real estate developer GSH Corporation. According to Forbes, the self-made entrepreneur has a net worth of US$2.1 billion (S$2.76 billion) and Tee Yih Jia Food Manufacturing, which he owns, is the world’s largest maker of popiah skins.