Diplomatic Briefing

Your exclusive news aggregator handpicked daily!

Archive for July 22, 2022

Newsline: US State Department slaps ban on former Paraguay leader over corruption

The United States on Friday slapped a travel ban on Paraguay’s former president Horacio Cartes, accusing the businessman turned politician of corruption and links to “terrorist” groups. Cartes, who led the South American nation from 2013 to 2018 and runs a business empire that has included tobacco and soccer team, will be ineligible along with his three adult children from traveling to the United States. The State Department said that Cartes “obstructed a major international investigation into transnational crime,” a reference to a money laundering scandal for which Brazil has sought the extradition of the former president. “These actions undermined the stability of Paraguay’s democratic institutions by contributing to public perception of corruption and impunity within the office of the Paraguayan president,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement. (https://news.yahoo.com/us-slaps-ban-former-paraguay-152334751.html) He did not specify further but Paraguay’s Vice President Hugo Velazquez has accused the former leader of ties with the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, which has allegedly profited on the smuggling of counterfeit cigarettes through Paraguay and its porous three-way frontier with Argentina and Brazil.

Newsline: Man faking Honorary Consulate of San Marino in Mumbai denied relief

Observing that there is the complicity of the applicant in the alleged crime and that there is no possibility of false implication, a sessions court in Dindoshi on Saturday denied anticipatory bail to a 27-year-old accused of presenting himself as the Honorary Consulate of San Marino in Mumbai. Additional Sessions Judge VD Ingle said in the order that the court took a comprehensive view of the matter and considered the accusations against the applicant – Vatsal Agarwal, as well as the nature and gravity of the alleged offence while denying the relief. It said it is explicit that there is a prima facie case against him. (https://www.msn.com/en-in/news/other/mumbai-man-faking-as-honorary-consulate-denied-relief/ar-AAZNoG9) The prosecution opposed his plea and told the court that the offence is of a serious nature. It said he and his co-accused have cheated the governments of the two countries. It said he has submitted a forged and fabricated letter to the office of the Ambassador, Republic of San Marino.

Newsline: Belarus appoints new envoy to Moscow

Belarus has appointed a new ambassador to Russia, state news agencies reported on Friday, as Moscow and Minsk continue to forge closer ties amid their mounting isolation from the West. In a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday, Lukashenko said the two leaders had agreed to appoint Dmitry Krutoi as Minsk’s new envoy to Moscow, the Belta state news agency reported, citing Lukashenko’s press office. (https://wsau.com/2022/07/22/belarus-appoints-new-envoy-to-moscow/) Krutoi was deputy head of Belarus’ presidential administration and was previously involved in integration projects with Russia – a broad list of policy areas the two countries have agreed to move closer together on. Krutoi replaces Vladimir Semashko, a veteran Belarusian diplomat who had been ambassador to Russia since 2018.

Newsline: Caroline Kennedy arrives in Australia to take up ambassador post

Caroline Kennedy arrived in Australia Friday to take up her post as US ambassador, vowing to end a period of US “absence” in a region increasingly influenced by China. With Washington stepping up diplomatic engagement across the South Pacific to counter growing Chinese influence, slain president John F. Kennedy’s sole surviving child touched down in Sydney to present her credentials. “There is a big agenda and I can’t wait to get started,” she said, effectively ending a stretch of more than 500 days in which the United States had no ambassador in the country. “I think everyone feels that it is unfortunate that it is taking so long to confirm ambassadors,” she said, referring to the now laborious and fraught process of the US Senate confirming key diplomatic appointments. (https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/caroline-kennedy-arrives-in-australia-to-take-up-ambassador-post/ar-AAZQbmC) Kennedy, a former US ambassador to Japan, hailed moves to open three new embassies in the Pacific Islands, while admitting “there has been a lot of absence.”