Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Former US top diplomat warns of war with Russia and China

“We are about to go to war with Russia And the China on issues that we have partially created, with no idea how they might arise or what they should lead to.” To declare that, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, the former US Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, which the United States should “not accelerate tensions but create options for them.” How do we combine our military capability with our strategic goals and how do we link them to our capability moral purposes “It’s an unsolved problem,” Kissinger said. Modern American diplomacy He is “very sensitive to the feelings of the moment.” (https://hardwoodparoxysm.com/former-us-secretary-of-state-henry-kissinger-we-are-on-the-brink-of-war-with-russia-and-china/) “I think the current period is having a very difficult time identifying one direction. He is very sensitive to the feelings of the moment.” He went on to say that the US leadership is focused on condemning ideas with which it differs, rather than stopping to negotiate and confronting opponents’ thinking. He also warned of what he sees as a gradual loss of balance between tensions between United State and other world powers, Russia and China.

Newsline: Diplomats face three major issues in talks on reviving Iran nuclear deal

Iran and the United States are struggling to overcome divisions on three major issues in indirect talks on revival of a 2015 nuclear deal while months of negotiations have entered a crucial stage. A While Tehran and Washington are set on pursuing diplomacy, a senior EU official shuttling between the parties said on Aug. 8 that a “final” offer was proposed and a response was expected within weeks. (https://news.yahoo.com/factbox-three-major-issues-bedevilling-041258187.html) Iran insists the nuclear pact can only be salvaged if the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) drops its claims about Tehran’s nuclear work. Washington and other Western powers view Tehran’s demand as outside the scope of reviving the deal. Tehran seeks guarantees that “no U.S. administration” will renege on a revived pact. But President Joe Biden cannot promise this because the nuclear deal is a non-binding political understanding, not a legally-binding treaty. The broad outline of the revived deal was essentially agreed in March after 11 months of talks in Vienna. But then talks broke down, largely due to Tehran’s demand that Washington remove its elite Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) from the U.S. Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) list and Washington’s refusal to do so. In June, one Iranian and one European official said the demand had been taken off the table to give diplomacy a chance. Several sources told Reuters that Iran had agreed to discuss the matter once the 2015 pact is revived, but in return has asked for removal of sanctions on some economic units of the Guards.

Newsline: Kuwait names first ambassador to Iran in over six years

Kuwait has appointed an ambassador to Iran, both countries said on Sunday, more than six years after recalling its top envoy to Tehran in solidarity with Saudi Arabia after it severed ties with the Islamic Republic in 2016. Ambassador Bader Abdullah Al-Munaikh handed his credentials to Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian in Tehran on Saturday, Iran’s foreign ministry said on its website. Kuwait’s foreign ministry confirmed Munaikh was appointed envoy to Iran. (https://news.yahoo.com/kuwait-names-first-ambassador-iran-131354442.html) Iran already has an ambassador in Kuwait. The move comes as Sunni Muslim powerhouse Saudi Arabia works to improve ties with Shi’ite Iran, with which it has been locked in a rivalry that has played out across conflicts in the region. Riyadh broke off ties with Tehran in January 2016 after Iranian protesters stormed the Saudi embassy in Iran after Saudi Arabia executed a prominent Shi’ite cleric. Kuwait recalled its envoy to Iran as other Gulf Arab states downgraded ties to rally behind Riyadh. Kuwait has maintained relatively good relations with Tehran under a foreign policy balancing ties with its larger neighbours.

Newsline: Russian diplomat confirms talks with US on prisoners swap

A Russian diplomat has confirmed that Moscow is negotiating a prisoner exchange involving Brittney Griner and notorious “Merchant of Death” arms dealer Viktor Bout. “The discussions on the very sensitive topic of an exchange are proceeding via the channels chosen by our presidents,” said Alexander Datchiev, the head of the North America department at the Russian Foreign Ministry, according to state news agency TASS. “Silent diplomacy continues and should bear fruit if Washington, of course, is careful not to fall into propaganda.” (https://news.yahoo.com/russian-diplomat-confirms-talks-us-221333134.html) The American basketball star was sentenced to a nine-year prison sentence in Russia earlier this month over a small amount of cannabis oil that was discovered in her luggage at a Moscow airport. Bout, a 55-year-old former Soviet military officer, was arrested in Bangkok in 2008 in a sting operation in which US officials posed as Colombian rebels. He was held in custody for two years in Thailand before being extradited to the US to go on trial. In April 2012, a US judge sentenced him to 25 years for attempting to sell heavy weapons to the Colombian “rebels.”

Newsline: De facto U.S. embassy says congressional delegation visits Taiwan

A U.S. congressional delegation will visit Taiwan from Aug. 14 to 15 to meet with senior Taiwan leaders, the de facto U.S. embassy in Taiwan said in a statement on Sunday. (https://finance.yahoo.com/news/u-congressional-delegation-visit-taiwan-112954911.html) The meeting comes as part of a wider visit to the Indo-Pacific region, according to the statement. The officials will discuss issues including U.S.-Taiwan relations and global supply chains, it added.

Newsline: Bangladeshi diplomat face drug-related charges in Indonesia

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh said it would take strict action against diplomat Kazi Anarkali over the alleged possession of narcotics at her home in Indonesia. According to Muhammad Faruk Khan, chairman of Bangladesh’s Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, “she is currently placed as an officer on special duty.” A committee is also at work. If she is found guilty, she could face the maximum administrative penalty.” He also stated that a letter was sent to the Indonesian government to learn more about what happened there. (https://www.bignewsnetwork.com/news/272650715/bengali-female-diplomat-arrested-for-keeping-narcotics-at-her-home-in-indonesia) Anarkali, the former deputy chief of the Jakarta Mission, was detained and brought back from Jakarta for allegedly having a large amount of marijuana in her home. In the first week of July, the Indonesian government’s narcotics control authority raided Anarkali’s apartment in Jakarta. She was detained but later released due to diplomatic immunity, specifically at the request of the Indonesian government.

Newsline: Montenegro expels Russian diplomat

The small former Yugoslav republic of Montenegro on Friday ordered a Russian diplomat to leave over what it called violations of norms, prompting Moscow to promise a response. Montenegro’s foreign ministry announced the move on Twitter but gave no details. “Russia will give an appropriate answer,” the Tass news agency cited a Russian foreign ministry spokesperson as saying when asked about possible retaliation. (https://news.yahoo.com/montenegro-expel-russian-diplomat-moscow-175644305.html) In March and April, Montenegro’s foreign ministry ordered a total of five Russian diplomats to leave over violations of diplomatic norms. Tass said that in late May, Moscow had ordered a diplomat from Montenegro to leave Russia.

Newsline: Venezuela, Colombia seek to repair ties with appointments of new ambassadors

Venezuela and Colombia appointed ambassadors to each other’s capitals, moving to rebuild relations between the two countries that have been broken for more than three years. The appointments come days after the inauguration of Colombia’s first leftist president, Gustavo Petro, who has expressed his intention to normalize diplomatic relations with Venezuela. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro appointed Felix Plasencia, a former foreign minister, as ambassador to Bogota, calling him “a man of great diplomatic experience”. Petro named Armando Benedetti, a former senator, as Colombia’s ambassador to Caracas. (https://news.yahoo.com/venezuela-president-appoints-former-foreign-233943284.html) Maduro added that Vice President Delcy Rodriguez will be in charge of designing a plan to reopen Venezuela’s border with Colombia and boost trade and investment with its neighbor. Caracas broke off relations with Bogota in early 2019 after members of the Venezuelan opposition tried to cross from Colombian territory with trucks loaded with food and medicine.

Newsline: Russia’s embassy came under kangaroo attack in Australia

Russia came under attack by a gutsy kangaroo in Australia, and the animal’s attempt to infiltrate Russia’s embassy was caught on camera. The marsupial was spotted on surveillance video trying to hop through the gates of the Russian Embassy in Canberra, 9News reported. (https://www.actionnewsjax.com/news/trending/unauthorized-entry-kangaroo-attempts-break-into-russian-embassy/) The Russian embassy later shared the video on its Twitter page, saying that the CCTV cameras “recorded an event of unauthorized entry. No one got hurt.” The video shows the kangaroo trying to squeeze through the bars of the embassy’s gates multiple times, almost appearing to get stuck, before hopping away.

Newsline: China’s diplomats in Washington outmuscle Taiwan representatives

The Chinese embassy helmed by Ambassador QIN GANG went loud and hard in a zone-flooding media blitz that included multiple press briefings, a Washington Post oped, a CNN appearance and a social media output mode set to 11. The Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) under Taiwan’s de facto Ambassador BI-KHIM HSIAO trod more lightly — mostly amplifying statements out of Taipei punctuated by Hsiao’s double header PBS and CBS TV interviews last week. (https://www.politico.com/newsletters/politico-china-watcher/2022/08/11/chinas-washington-diplos-outmuscle-taiwans-reps-with-media-blitz-00050960) That minimalist engagement suggests the Taiwan Foreign Ministry’s risk aversion to high profile diplomacy may have hamstrung Hsiao at a critical juncture in the decades-long U.S.-China standoff on Taiwan’s status. During the Pelosi trip furor, the Chinese embassy held two virtual media briefings within a seven-day span backed by Qin’s drumbeat of multiple daily tweets making the case for China’s assertions of sovereignty over Taiwan. That reflected a global Chinese diplomatic offensive.