Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for June 21, 2022

Newsline: Guatemala’s top diplomat vows to maintain Taiwan ties

Guatemala will “definitely” maintain diplomatic ties with Taiwan, Foreign Minister Mario Bucaro told Nikkei. (https://asia.nikkei.com/Editor-s-Picks/Interview/Guatemala-vows-to-maintain-Taiwan-ties-top-diplomat-says) Guatemala’s pledge to maintain Taiwan ties came against a backdrop of China’s diplomatic offensive as more of the country’s neighbors switch allegiances to Beijing.

Newsline: European Union Ambassador Says EU, China Aim for Talks in Next Few Weeks

The European Union and China are planning two high-level meetings in coming weeks, but the talks must tackle real bilateral issues and provide tangible benefits, according to the bloc’s ambassador in Beijing. The two sides will hold the high-level dialogs on the economy and on climate and the environment “in the next few weeks, hopefully,” Nicolas Chapuis, the EU’s ambassador in China, told Bloomberg Television in Beijing. (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-06-20/eu-china-aim-for-talks-in-next-few-weeks-ambassador-says) “We are continuing to press for engagement and solving the issues at hand. Addressing the issues, not sweeping them under the rug.”

Newsline: Mexican top diplomat starts jostling for 2024 presidential nomination

Mexico’s top diplomat began the open jostling to win the 2024 nomination of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s Morena party on Monday. Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard offered his WhatsApp number for comments from the public Monday, and on Sunday he said he would start touring the country to build support. (https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Mexican-diplomat-starts-jostling-for-2024-17253472.php) His bid, however, is likely to get off to a slow start. On Monday, Ebrard announced he had tested positive for COVID-19. There are several contenders, but there won’t be any primary vote: the party will hold an internal survey to name the nominee. In the past, contenders have raised doubts about the accuracy and impartiality of the party’s surveys. López Obrador can’t run for a second term, but given that the Morena party was built around him, whoever the president supports would get the party’s nomination.

Newsline: Top diplomat to become Israeli prime minister

As a TV star, Yair Lapid’s weekly commentary was entitled “Being Israeli” – a rhapsody about the middle-class, politically centrist ranks that he saw holding together a fractious country, with him as their tribune. Now foreign minister, the centre-left Lapid has also held the finance portfolio and sat in the security cabinet – Israel’s decision-making forum on war or peace. Next week, he will take over from Naftali Bennett as prime minister when lawmakers vote to dissolve parliament and pave the way for the country’s fifth election in three years. As interim prime minister, the still-chiseled but now gray-haired Lapid, who will welcome U.S. President Joe Biden on his visit to Israel next month, may have to reach out more widely to maintain a stable government. (https://news.yahoo.com/heart-throb-hot-seat-lapid-185548649.html) A decade in public service at the head of the Yesh Atid (“There is a Future”) party which he founded and in which he has never faced a serious challenger, the 58-year-old has built a solid resume of cabinet roles and statecraft. Despite not graduating from high school, Lapid became a successful writer and made no secret of self-teaching with each new government role. During an earlier stint in Hollywood working for Israeli-U.S. mogul Arnon Milchan, Lapid gained a regard for American power-projection and expectations of a Middle East ally. In contrast to Bennett’s impatience with talk of renewing talks on Palestinian statehood, Lapid has described such diplomacy as necessary for Israel’s well-being – but argued that both sides are too domestically hamstrung to pursue them. On Israel’s arch-foe Iran, the two have been in lockstep and Lapid is not expected to change course.