Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for May 11, 2022

Newsline: Diplomats condemn killing of journalist in West Bank

Diplomats condemned the killing of the Qatari-based broadcaster said Shireen Abu Akleh, a well-known Palestinian and American female reporter, by Israeli forces. The Al Jazeera correspondent has been shot dead while covering a raid in the occupied West Bank town of Jenin. Qatar’s deputy foreign minister Lolwah al Khater condemned the killing and called for an end to “state sponsored Israeli terrorism”. The British ambassador to Israel, Neil Wigan, took to Twitter to push for a “thorough and transparent” probe into the death. (https://news.yahoo.com/shireen-abu-akleh-al-jazeera-064943168.html) Israel’s foreign minister Yair Lapid said that the country has offered the Palestinians “a joint pathological investigation into the sad death of journalist Shireen Abu Aqla[Akleh]”. “Journalists must be protected in conflict zones and we all have a responsibility to get to the truth,” the top minister said on Twitter. Abu Akleh, 51, was born in Jerusalem. She began working for Al Jazeera in 1997 and regularly reported on-camera from across the Palestinian territories.

Newsline: Russia Summons Poland’s Ambassador

The Polish ambassador to Russia was summoned to the Foreign Ministry in Moscow, the state-run news agency PAP quoted the Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau as saying on Wednesday, two days after a Warsaw protest targeting Russia’s envoy to Poland. “As far as our relations with the Russian Federation are concerned, we know that the Polish ambassador to Moscow has been summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry,” Rau was quoted as saying at a news conference. Rau said that Polish authorities had warned Ambassador Sergey Andreev that attending the cemetery risked provoking an incident “However, what happened does not in any way change our position that diplomatic representatives of foreign countries are entitled to protection … no matter how much we feel the need to disagree with the policy of the government that the diplomat represents,” PAP quoted Rau as saying. (https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2022-05-11/russia-summons-polands-ambassador-in-moscow-polish-foreign-minister) The Russian ambassador to Poland was doused in a red substance on Monday by people protesting against the war in Ukraine as he went to lay flowers at the Soviet Military Cemetery in Warsaw to mark the 77th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany, drawing a furious reaction from Moscow.

Newsline: China’s embassy says Beijing committed to friendship with Philippines under Marcos

China will continue to work together with the Philippines under its incoming president, Ferdinand Marcos Jr, who won this week’s election by a landslide, its embassy in Manila said. (https://www.fxempire.com/news/article/china-committed-to-friendship-and-working-with-philippines-under-marcos-embassy-996859) China will remain committed to a friendship with its neighbour, and focus on post-COVID growth, expand win-win cooperation, and bring more tangible benefits to both peoples, said the statement, quoting China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian.

Newsline: Russian diplomats spurned in Europe’s capitals

Russian diplomat Sergiy Andreev was feeling unwelcome on the streets of Warsaw even before protesters doused him with red liquid thrown in his face at short range this week. Soon after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, Andreev, who is Moscow’s ambassador in Poland, found the embassy bank accounts had been frozen. Attempts to meet with Polish officials for any level of diplomatic discussion were impossible, he said. His regular barber refused to cut his hair. Insurance companies denied coverage for embassy cars, Andreev said. “We are practically isolated,” he told Reuters, before the paint incident on Monday. (https://news.yahoo.com/russian-diplomats-spurned-europes-capitals-092229356.html) Across Europe’s capitals, Russian diplomats are getting the cold shoulder, ranging from diplomatic expulsions by governments, to protests by individual citizens, and service denials by companies. European Union governments have expelled at least 400 Russian diplomats and support staff. Warsaw has seized a building linked to the Russian embassy, and Oslo renamed a street in front of the Russian mission “Ukraine Square.”