Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for July 3, 2022

Newsline: Iran’s top diplomat in Syria, slams Israel, Turkish threats

Iran’s top diplomat condemned on Saturday Israel’s latest airstrike on Syria and criticized recent threats from Turkey about another planned incursion by Ankara into northern Syria. (https://news.yahoo.com/israeli-airstrike-coastal-syrian-village-065927750.html) Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian’s remarks came at the start of his visit to Syria, where he was expected to discuss mutual relations and regional affairs with top Syrian officials. Iran has been one of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s strongest backers, sending thousands of fighters from around the region to help his troops in Syria’s 11-year conflict. Amirabdollahian’s visit came hours after Israel carried out an airstrike on a coastal Syrian village near the border with Lebanon, wounding two people, according to state media reports in Syria. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has recently said he’s planning another major military cross-border incursion into Syria to create a 30-kilometer (19 mile) deep buffer zone along the border with Turkey, promising to battle U.S.-allied Syrian Kurdish fighters for the territory.

Newsline: Russian diplomats to depart Bulgaria amid soaring tensions

Two Russian airplanes were set to depart Bulgaria on Sunday with scores of Russian diplomatic staff and their families amid a mass expulsion that has sent tensions soaring between the historically close nations, a Russian diplomat said. Filip Voskresenski, a high-ranking Russian diplomat, told journalists at the airport in Bulgaria’s capital Sofia he was among the 70 Russian diplomatic staff declared “persona non grata” last week and ordered to leave the country before Monday. (https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/russian-diplomats-depart-bulgaria-amid-soaring-tensions-86149785) Bulgaria’s expulsion decision was announced by acting Prime Minister Kiril Petkov, who lost a no-confidence vote on June 22, has claimed Moscow used “hybrid war” tactics to bring down his government. Petkov has said that Russia will retain 43 of its employees after the expulsion and noted that Bulgaria has just 12 diplomatic staff in Moscow. On Friday, Russian Ambassador Eleonora Mitrofanova issued Bulgaria an ultimatum to reverse its decision and threatened that Moscow would fully sever diplomatic ties.

Newsline: Pakistan summons Indian diplomat to protest blocking of Twitter accounts

Pakistan summoned Indian Charge d’Affaires (Cd’A) Suresh Kumar to Islamabad to lodge a “strong” protest over the recent blocking of certain Pakistani Twitter handles in India. “The Indian Charge d’Affaires (Cd’A) in Islamabad was called to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today and a strong demarche was made on the Indian government’s blocking of access to the content of 80 accounts on Twitter, including accounts of Pakistan’s diplomatic missions in Iran, Turkey, Egypt, UN-New York and the national broadcaster Radio Pakistan, by activating geo-blocking and censorship laws,” a statement issued by Pakistan Foreign Office (FO) said. (https://www.msn.com/en-in/news/other/pak-summons-indian-diplomat-to-register-strong-protest-over-india-s-recent-blocking-of-twitter-accounts/ar-AAZ60qB) India banned official Twitter accounts of several Pakistani diplomatic missions, journalists and some prominent personalities under the Information Technology Act, 2000. Pakistan has accused India of an attempt to curb “pluralistic” voices.