Diplomatic Briefing

Your exclusive news aggregator handpicked daily!

Archive for March 13, 2022

Newsline: Iran claims missile barrage near US consulate in Iraq

Iran has claimed responsibility for a missile barrage that struck early Sunday near a sprawling U.S. consulate complex in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil, saying it was retaliation for an Israeli strike in Syria that killed two members of its Revolutionary Guard. No injuries were reported in the attack, which marked a significant escalation between the U.S. and Iran. Hostility between the longtime foes has often played out in Iraq, whose government is allied with both countries. Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard said on its website that it launched the attack against an Israeli “strategic center of conspiracy” in Irbil. (https://news.yahoo.com/iran-claims-missile-barrage-near-125435019.html) Earlier, a U.S. defense official and Iraqi security officials said the strike was launched from neighboring Iran. One Iraqi official in Baghdad initially said several missiles had hit the U.S. consulate in Irbil and that it was the target of the attack. Later, Lawk Ghafari, the head of Kurdistan’s foreign media office, said none of the missiles had struck the U.S. facility but that areas around the compound had been hit. A statement issued by the interior ministry of Iraq’s Kurdistan region said the missiles were launched from outside Iraq, from the east, without naming Iran.

Newsline: India to relocate embassy to Poland amid rapidly worsening situation in Ukraine

India on Sunday said the country’s embassy in Ukraine would be moved to Poland because of the rapidly deteriorating security situation. The embassy had been functioning from an office in Lviv, located some 70 km from the Polish border, after Indian officials moved out of the capital Kyiv following the evacuation of a majority of Indian nationals from Ukraine last week. “In view of the rapidly deteriorating security situation in Ukraine, including attacks in the western parts of the country, it has been decided that the Indian Embassy in Ukraine will be temporarily relocated in Poland,” the external affairs ministry said in a statement. “The situation will be reassessed in the light of further developments,” the statement added. (https://www.msn.com/en-in/news/other/india-to-relocate-embassy-to-poland-amid-rapidly-worsening-situation-in-ukraine/ar-AAUZX4i) Though attacks and shelling by Russian forces had initially focused on the eastern parts of Ukraine, there was an uptick in bombardment in the western region, where Lviv is located, over the weekend.

Newsline: Qatari foreign minister to visit Moscow on Sunday

Qatar’s foreign minister will travel to Moscow on Sunday for discussions on the Iran nuclear talks and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a source familiar with the visit said. The source said Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, whose gas producing country is a U.S. ally, would meet with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov. (https://www.reuters.com/world/qatari-foreign-minister-visit-moscow-sunday-says-source-2022-03-13/) Eleven month-old talks in Vienna to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal face the prospect of collapse after a last-minute Russian demand forced world powers to pause negotiations despite having a largely completed text.

Newsline: US Vice-President says Russia ‘shows no sign of engaging in serious diplomacy’

US Vice-President Kamala Harris said Russian President Vladimir Putin “shows no sign of engaging in serious diplomacy” as she accused Moscow of “atrocious and outrageous conduct” in Ukraine. “The US has been attempting sincerely to engage in diplomacy actively and from everything we know and witnessed Putin shows no sign of engaging in serious diplomacy,” Harris said on a visit to Romania. (https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/russia-shows-no-sign-of-engaging-in-serious-diplomacy-us/ar-AAUWG7d) “We maintain that diplomacy is the way to resolve issues, (but) that coexists with our commitment to ensure that our allies are strong and that there must be serious consequences and accountability for Russia’s doings,” Harris told a news conference in Bucharest with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.

Newsline: Top diplomat says Afghans capable of forming their own government

Afghans are capable of forming their own government, said acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi while addressing the Antalya Diplomacy Forum, adding that efforts were underway to increase inclusivity in the Taliban-led government. In his address on Saturday, Muttaqi insisted that Afghanistan does not intend to be a country for conflicts of superpowers of the world. “Foreign versions (of the government) and foreign ideology must not be imposed on Afghans. The former version of the (government) was tried but it did not succeed,” TOLO News quoted the Minister as saying. (https://www.msn.com/en-in/news/world/afghans-capable-of-forming-their-own-govt-acting-fm/ar-AAUZSjV) He went on to say that the Taliban government has been attempting to rescue the Afghan economy and there have been several areas of progress, including government actions to prevent economic collapse.

Newsline: Former US ambassador to Russia takes heat for ‘Hitler’ remarks

A former US ambassador to Russia was blasted for comments which favorably compared Adolf Hitler to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Michael McFaul, who is also a professor of International Studies at Stanford, made the remarks during an appearance on “The Rachel Maddow Show” Friday evening. “You know, there’s one difference between Hitler when he was coming in, and Putin. Hitler didn’t kill ethnic Germans. He didn’t kill German-speaking people,” McFaul said on the program — repeating what he said he was told by a Russian journalist. “I think people need to remember that we’re talking about cities like Kharkiv and Mariupol and Kyiv, there are large populations there, you know, up to a third and sometimes as much to a half that are Russian speakers and are ethnic Russians,” he continued. “And yet Putin doesn’t seem to care about that. He slaughters the very people he said he has come to liberate.” (https://nypost.com/2022/03/12/former-us-ambassador-to-russia-takes-heat-for-hitler-remarks/) The comments were posted to the Maddow Blog Twitter account late Friday where they swiftly drew condemnation across the web. The post was deleted Saturday morning.