Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for May 23, 2022

Newsline: Guard at Qatari Embassy in Paris killed in attack

A homicide investigation was opened on Monday after a security guard at the Qatari Embassy in Paris was killed and a suspect arrested, the prosecutor’s office said. The circumstances of the killing, including the method used, were not immediately clear. The prosecutor’s office said that “the use of a weapon is not at this time confirmed.” (https://www.ajc.com/news/nation-world/guard-at-qatari-embassy-in-paris-killed-in-attack/) French press reports that said the guard was killed around 7 a.m. outside the embassy in Paris’ posh 8th district, apparently beaten to death. Several French media reported that the suspect appeared to be mentally unstable. Police refused to comment on the killing. The special prosecutor for terrorism cases was not involved in the case, meaning that terror has been ruled out as a motive in the attack.

Newsline: Russian diplomat quits over war in Ukraine

A Russian diplomat has quit his position at the United Nations (UN) because he is “ashamed” of his country’s invasion of Ukraine. Boris Bondarev wrote a damning resignation letter in which he said he was “ashamed” of his country and called president Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine a “crime”. (https://news.yahoo.com/russian-diplomat-quits-putin-war-ukraine-135041647.html) Bondarev had been Russia’s counsellor to the UN in Geneva, but stepped down on Monday, Swiss human rights group UN Watch reported. He is the most senior diplomat to stand down since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began in February.

Newsline: Indonesia summons Britain’s envoy after furore over rainbow flag

Indonesia summoned Britain’s ambassador on Monday to explain the raising of a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) flag at its embassy, and urged foreign missions to respect local “sensitivities” following a backlash among conservatives. (https://www.reuters.com/world/indonesia-summons-britains-envoy-after-furore-over-rainbow-flag-2022-05-23/) Barring the sharia-ruled province of Aceh, homosexuality is not illegal in Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority country, although it is generally considered taboo. The rainbow LGBT flag was flown alongside the British flag at the country’s embassy in Jakarta on May 17 to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, according an Instagram post by the embassy.

Newsline: One person killed in Qatar embassy in Paris

Newspaper Le Parisien said on Monday that one person had been killed at the embassy of Qatar. (https://news.yahoo.com/one-person-killed-qatar-embassy-083356411.html) In the wake of the incident, one person had been arrested, the report said, citing police sources.

Newsline: Ukraine warns only diplomacy can end war

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has warned only a diplomatic breakthrough rather than an outright military victory can end Russia’s war on his country, while pushing its case for EU membership. Zelensky also insisted his war-ravaged country should be a full candidate to join the EU, rejecting a suggestion from France’s President Emmanuel Macron and some other EU leaders that a sort of associated political community be created as a waiting zone for a membership bid. Zelensky, who will speak to the world’s political and business elite at the exclusive Davos forum via videolink on Monday, told Ukrainians in a televised address: “There are things that can only be reached at the negotiating table.” The war “will be bloody, there will be fighting but will only definitively end through diplomacy”. “Discussions between Ukraine and Russia will decidedly take place. Under what format I don’t know,” he added. But he promised that the result would be “fair” for Ukraine. (https://news.yahoo.com/ukraine-warns-only-talks-end-085928403.html) Zelensky also appealed for more military aid, even as US President Joe Biden formally signed off on a $40-billion package of aid for the Ukrainian war effort.