Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for June 28, 2022

Newsline: Bulgaria expels 70 Russian embassy staff

Bulgaria’s foreign ministry on Tuesday said it had asked Russia to withdraw 70 diplomatic staff by July 3, saying Russia should decrease the size of its embassy to match the Bulgarian representation in Moscow. (https://nationalpost.com/pmn/news-pmn/bulgaria-expels-70-russian-embassy-staff-foreign-ministry-says) “The first reason is reciprocity… Secondly, because of the activity carried out by Russian officials, which was determined by the competent Bulgarian authorities to be incompatible with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations,” the ministry said in a statement.

Newsline: Mexican consul en route to Texas site where migrants found dead in trailer

Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said the Mexican consul was en route to the site where 42 people were found dead in a truck carrying migrants near San Antonio, Texas, Monday. (https://news.yahoo.com/mexican-consul-en-route-texas-015731804.html) Ebrard said in a tweet that the victims’ nationalities were still unknown. The Mexican General Consulate in San Antonio said on Twitter that it would provide aid to any Mexicans involved in the incident, if there were any. It also said Consul General Ruben Minutti was on the way to the scene.

Newsline: Delhi Afghanistan embassy not taking orders from Taliban

The Taliban is trying to establish its control over Afghanistan’s institutions, but there is a big grey area. Most of the country’s 70 or so diplomatic missions still functioning are doing so independently of the hardline regime – which isn’t recognised by other countries – and without any direct funding from Kabul. Visitors to the Afghan embassy in India’s capital – housed in a sprawling compound in the heart of the city’s diplomatic enclave – are greeted by a photograph of former president Ashraf Ghani when they enter the building. Mr Ghani fled Afghanistan last August as the Taliban closed in on the capital after the collapse of his government, which had been backed by the West. His photo also hangs on the wall of ambassador Farid Mamundzay’s office, which still has the black, red and green tricolour flag of the republic Mr Ghani used to head. “We have little co-ordination with the Taliban,” says Mr Mamundzay, whose staff continue to carry out functions like issuing visas and passports in the name of the republic they were appointed to serve. (https://news.yahoo.com/afghanistan-embassy-delhi-surviving-without-235154995.html) In the 10 months since they took power, the Taliban have sent ambassadors to only four countries: Russia, Pakistan, China and Turkmenistan. But even these countries haven’t accorded formal diplomatic recognition to Afghanistan’s new rulers.

Newsline: Iran accused of gunboat diplomacy in Strait of Hormuz

Gunboat diplomacy is defined in terms of international politics as the pursuit of foreign policy objectives by displaying signs of aggressive naval power, implying the threat of warfare if agreeable terms are not met. (https://www.upi.com/Voices/2022/06/27/iran-Iran-gunboat-diplomacy-strait-hormuz/4031656331659/) Gunboat diplomacy was a tactic famously utilized by some of the imperialist powers during the 19th century. It is a somewhat outdated concept, although that doesn’t seem to have deterred the Iranian regime. Last week, ships from the U.S. Fifth Fleet were sailing through international waters in the Strait of Hormuz when they were threatened by high-speed, head-on assaults by three naval vessels from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. The U.S. coastal patrol ship USS Sirocco had to fire a warning flare when the IRGC vessels, acting in a hostile manner, came within 50 yards of their ship. The threatening and dangerous behavior lasted for more than an hour before the IRGC boats departed.