Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for May 15, 2022

Newsline: Pakistan diplomat dismissed over charges of harassing woman colleague

A Pakistani diplomat was dismissed from foreign service on Sunday over charges of harassing a woman official during his stint as head of mission in Italy in 2018, Express Tribune reported. Pakistan’s Federal Ombudsperson for Protection against Harassment, Kashmala Tariq ordered the dismissal of Riyaz after the allegations of harassment were proved. He was also slapped with a fine of 50 lakh Pakistani rupees, which would be paid to the complainant, a Grade 20 officer in the Ministry of Commerce. (https://www.msn.com/en-in/news/world/pakistan-diplomat-dismissed-over-charges-of-harassing-woman-colleague/ar-AAXiPQP) In her complaint, the woman said she was stationed at the Pakistani mission in Italy headed by Riaz in 2018. She claimed that the senior diplomat asked her to visit other cities in other countries, which was not related to her job profile. She also alleged that the ambassador also forced her to keep her residence near his official home. Riyaz, who retired from foreign service and is now the president of Institute of Regional Studies, a think tank of the Pakistan foreign ministry, allegedly forced the woman to listen to his stories on a daily basis, which had objectionable content. According to another Pakistan website Samaa TV, the woman alleged she was insulted by her boss and was forced to return to Pakistan before the completion of the three-year-term.

Newsline: Russia’s US ambassador says there will be no “capitulation”

Russia’s US envoy Anatoly Antonov said America is secretly giving Vladimir Putin the terms of negotiations to halt the fighting. “I would specify three of them. First, to stop military action as part of the special military operation. “Second, to move our troops back to where they were before 24 February. “The third is ‘to repent for everything we have done’.” Antonov told Russian State TV anchor Vladimir Solovyov: “Naturally we are saying firm and clear, and we are unambiguously sure of this – at least the Russian diplomats that work here there will be no such capitulation. Never.” (https://www.the-sun.com/news/5344405/russias-ambassador-kremlin-split-war/) In other statements, Antonov has echoed other figures in the Russian elite that the current east-west confrontation with then West arming Ukraine could trigger nuclear war,

Newsline: Ukraine’s top diplomat meets U.S. Secretary of State

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Sunday he had met U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Berlin and that “more weapons and other aid is on the way to Ukraine”. “We agreed to work closely together to ensure that Ukrainian food exports reach consumers in Africa and Asia. Grateful to Secretary Blinken and the U.S. for their leadership and unwavering support,” Kuleba tweeted. (https://news.yahoo.com/ukraines-top-diplomat-meets-u-084457777.html) Kuleba was due to brief NATO foreign ministers meeting in Berlin on Sunday on the situation on the ground in Ukraine and on how the alliance can further help the country as it battles invading Russian forces for a 12th week.

Newsline: Envoy says Russian diplomats in U.S. are threatened, enticed by FBI

Russian diplomats in Washington are being threatened with violence and U.S. intelligence services try to make contact with them, Tass news agency cited the ambassador as saying on Saturday. Anatoly Antonov told Russian television that since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, face-to-face meetings with U.S. officials had ended. “It’s like a besieged fortress. Basically, our embassy is operating in a hostile environment … Embassy employees are receiving threats, including threats of physical violence,” Tass quoted him as saying. “Agents from U.S. security services are hanging around outside the Russian embassy, handing out CIA and FBI phone numbers, which can be called to establish contact.” (https://news.yahoo.com/envoy-says-russian-diplomats-u-211342838.html) CIA and the FBI declined comment. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the U.S. State Department did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

Newsline: G-7 top diplomats call for Russia to free up Ukrainian ports for grain exports

Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven nations appealed to Russia to free up sea export routes for Ukrainian grain and agricultural products critical to feeding the world, as food prices rise and the World Food Program warns of “catastrophic” consequences if Ukrainian ports remain blocked. “We must not be naive. Russia has now expanded the war against Ukraine to many states as a war of grain,” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said at a news conference Saturday after the G-7 meetings. “It is not collateral damage, it is an instrument in a hybrid war that is intended to weaken cohesion against Russia’s war.” (https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/05/14/ukraine-ports-grain-global-hunger/) Baerbock, who hosted the three-day gathering of top diplomats in Weissenhaus, Germany, said the group was searching for alternative routes to transport grain out of Ukraine as the threat of a global hunger crisis mounts.