Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for July 26, 2022

Newsline: Pakistani diplomats allegedly involved in illegitimate flow of migrants to South Africa

The activities of illegal migrants had seriously damaged the reputation of Pakistanis in South Africa, but more than the illegal human trafficking operators, it was the role of Pakistan’s own officials employed in its various missions abroad which is tarnishing the country’s image. The unchecked movement of illegal migrants from Pakistan to South Africa during the past few years has turned into a nightmare for the South African government, reported The Geneva Daily. Aided by a syndicate of unscrupulous officials of Pakistani mission in South Africa and neighbouring countries, the practice appears to have taken deep roots in the country. (https://www.msn.com/en-in/news/world/pak-diplomats-involved-in-illegitimate-flow-of-migrants-to-south-africa-report/ar-AAZYatE) Pakistani citizens using legal channels are now bearing the brunt of measures taken by the host government to contain the illegitimate flow. The South African government was apparently aware of the illegal channels being used by the syndicates in Eswatini and Mozambique and has responded in the form of close scrutiny of the visa applications of Pakistani citizens. Moreover, Pakistan’s own official’s deep involvement in these syndicates was making the task of enforcement agencies difficult in tackling the menace, reported The Geneva Daily.

Newsline: Israeli consulate raises alarm about car with Nazi symbols in China

The Israeli consulate in Chengdu, China, raised an alarm about a white car with multiple Nazi symbols found in the Sichuan capital, prompting local officials to make an arrest. The Israeli Consul General’s office in Chengdu — one of four Israeli consulates in mainland China — posted a photo on WeChat of the car, which featured an eagle clutching a swastika and the words “Waffeen [sic] SS” spraypainted on its hood. “On Chengdu’s busiest street, a car with a spray-painted swastika was seen parading around the streets. Deeply shocked,” the post read. “We believe the owner of the car placed this evil symbol in a prominent location because they do not understand this period of history or that [this symbol] is contaminated with the blood of many innocent lives. We also sincerely hope the car’s owner will see this message and promptly remove it.” (https://www.jta.org/2022/07/25/global/car-with-nazi-symbols-found-in-china-raises-concern-and-prompts-arrest) Later, the post had been removed from social media without explanation. Later it was revealed that Chinese police found and arrested the owner of the car, who said that he was ignorant of the meaning behind the symbols. The Israeli consulate took down its original social media posts, after a request from Chinese officials.

Newsline: Algeria’s top diplomat backs Syria’s return to Arab League

Algeria’s foreign minister decried Syria’s decade long suspension from the Arab League during a visit to Damascus, indicating support for the war-torn country’s return to the organization under President Bashar Assad. “Syria’s absence from the Arab League harms cooperation between Arab countries,” said Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra, speaking at a news conference with his Syrian counterpart, Faisal Mekdad. “Syria is coordinating with Algeria and several Arab countries to revisit the status of Syria’s membership in the league,” Mekdad said. (https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Algeria-s-top-diplomat-backs-Syria-s-return-to-17326912.php) Syria was expelled from the 22-member group and boycotted by its neighbors after the conflict broke out in March 2011, following a heavy-handed crackdown by Assad’s government on mass protests demanding reforms. The country quickly descended into civil war, which has killed hundreds of thousands of people, displaced half the country’s population and left large parts of Syria destroyed.

Newsline: US sends top diplomats to visit the Solomon Islands

The U.S. is sending a high-profile diplomatic delegation to visit the Solomon Islands next week led by Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and including Ambassador to Australia Caroline Kennedy. The U.S. State Department said Tuesday the trip is to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Guadalcanal and for the diplomats to meet with Solomon Islands officials to “highlight the enduring relationship” between the two nations. (https://www.rochesterfirst.com/news/international/us-sends-sherman-kennedy-to-visit-the-solomon-islands/) The visit will hold particular personal interest for Sherman and Kennedy, whose fathers both fought there during World War II. And it comes after the U.S. and several Pacific nations expressed deep concern about a security pact the Solomon Islands signed with China in April, which many fear could result in a military buildup in the region. The trip will also highlight the reopening of the U.S. embassy in the capital, Honiara, which is part of an express U.S. strategy to counter China’s growing influence. The U.S. previously operated an embassy in the Solomon Islands for five years before closing it in 1993. Kennedy has just begun her role in Australia after formally presenting her credentials on Monday. Kennedy said the Pacific held great personal significance because her father, the late President John F. Kennedy, had served there during World War II and “was rescued by two Solomon Islanders and an Australian coast watcher.” Sherman’s father Mal Sherman was a Marine who was wounded during the Battle of Guadalcanal. As well as Sherman and Kennedy, the delegation will include Kin Moy, a state department principal deputy assistant secretary, and Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Stephen Sklenka, the deputy commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.