Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for June 5, 2022

Newsline: US Consulates Publish Increased Wait Times to Schedule Appointments

COVID travel restrictions may be improving, but the most recent update to the Department of State’s Visa Wait Times confirms that there are still very serious, ongoing visa appointment delays resulting from the pandemic. During peak pandemic times, many US Embassies and Consulates were forced to close entirely or to limit their services to emergency appointments only. Over the past year, many have reopened and resumed processing as expeditiously as possible, but it seems that they are once again overwhelmed by the volume and backlog of applications. Presently, at many US consulates, the wait to secure a US nonimmigrant visa stamping appointment is 100 days or more. In Paris, it’s 200 days; in Melbourne, it’s 220 days; and in Madrid, it’s 124 days. (https://www.natlawreview.com/article/visa-stamp-delays-us-consulates-publish-increased-wait-times-to-schedule) Many people will be anxious about the long wait times for securing appointments, and will want to appeal to the consulate for earlier appointments. There are very limited options for securing earlier appointments.

Newsline: Ukraine Top Diplomat Slams Macron for Advocating Diplomacy with Russia

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba slammed French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday for saying Russia should not be humiliated for its invasion of Ukraine. “Calls to avoid humiliation of Russia can only humiliate France and every other country that would call for it. Because it is Russia that humiliates itself. We all better focus on how to put Russia in its place. This will bring peace and save lives,” he wrote. (https://www.newsweek.com/ukraine-official-slams-macron-saying-russia-should-not-humiliated-1712839) Throughout the widely-condemned Russian invasion, Macron has joined most European leaders in backing Ukraine and has sought to balance his support alongside efforts to mediate diplomacy between the two countries as the war continues to rage on. He has also continued dialogue with Russian President Vladimir Putin in an effort to continue diplomacy in a war-torn Europe. During an interview with French media published Saturday, Macron spoke of France’s role in the conflict as a “mediating power,” adding that he does not believe Russia needs to be humiliated by the end of the war. “We must not humiliate Russia so that the day when the fighting stops we can build an exit ramp through diplomatic means,” he said, adding that he told Putin that the invasion is a “historic and fundamental mistake for his people, for himself and for history.” United States lawmakers also criticized Macron’s statement on Saturday on social media. Representative Adam Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican, tweeted that the French president is “humiliating himself.” “Russia has already been humiliated, and true to their reputation the French are trying to raise the white flag,” he wrote.

Newsline: Greece’s ambassador to Turkey summoned

Greece’s ambassador to Turkey was summoned to the Foreign Ministry over concerns about the activities of the outlawed Kurdish Workers’ Party in his country, according to the state-run Anadolu news agency. Turkish officials complained to Ambassador Christodoulos Lazaris about the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, carrying out propaganda, financing and recruitment in Greece, Anadolu reported, citing diplomatic sources. (https://www.mrt.com/news/article/Greece-s-ambassador-to-Turkey-summoned-over-PKK-17219443.php) They also raised concerns about a recent demonstration near the Turkish Embassy in Athens by alleged PKK supporters and the safety of Turkish nationals in Greece.