Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for August 14, 2022

Newsline: Kuwait names first ambassador to Iran in over six years

Kuwait has appointed an ambassador to Iran, both countries said on Sunday, more than six years after recalling its top envoy to Tehran in solidarity with Saudi Arabia after it severed ties with the Islamic Republic in 2016. Ambassador Bader Abdullah Al-Munaikh handed his credentials to Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian in Tehran on Saturday, Iran’s foreign ministry said on its website. Kuwait’s foreign ministry confirmed Munaikh was appointed envoy to Iran. (https://news.yahoo.com/kuwait-names-first-ambassador-iran-131354442.html) Iran already has an ambassador in Kuwait. The move comes as Sunni Muslim powerhouse Saudi Arabia works to improve ties with Shi’ite Iran, with which it has been locked in a rivalry that has played out across conflicts in the region. Riyadh broke off ties with Tehran in January 2016 after Iranian protesters stormed the Saudi embassy in Iran after Saudi Arabia executed a prominent Shi’ite cleric. Kuwait recalled its envoy to Iran as other Gulf Arab states downgraded ties to rally behind Riyadh. Kuwait has maintained relatively good relations with Tehran under a foreign policy balancing ties with its larger neighbours.

Newsline: Russian diplomat confirms talks with US on prisoners swap

A Russian diplomat has confirmed that Moscow is negotiating a prisoner exchange involving Brittney Griner and notorious “Merchant of Death” arms dealer Viktor Bout. “The discussions on the very sensitive topic of an exchange are proceeding via the channels chosen by our presidents,” said Alexander Datchiev, the head of the North America department at the Russian Foreign Ministry, according to state news agency TASS. “Silent diplomacy continues and should bear fruit if Washington, of course, is careful not to fall into propaganda.” (https://news.yahoo.com/russian-diplomat-confirms-talks-us-221333134.html) The American basketball star was sentenced to a nine-year prison sentence in Russia earlier this month over a small amount of cannabis oil that was discovered in her luggage at a Moscow airport. Bout, a 55-year-old former Soviet military officer, was arrested in Bangkok in 2008 in a sting operation in which US officials posed as Colombian rebels. He was held in custody for two years in Thailand before being extradited to the US to go on trial. In April 2012, a US judge sentenced him to 25 years for attempting to sell heavy weapons to the Colombian “rebels.”

Newsline: De facto U.S. embassy says congressional delegation visits Taiwan

A U.S. congressional delegation will visit Taiwan from Aug. 14 to 15 to meet with senior Taiwan leaders, the de facto U.S. embassy in Taiwan said in a statement on Sunday. (https://finance.yahoo.com/news/u-congressional-delegation-visit-taiwan-112954911.html) The meeting comes as part of a wider visit to the Indo-Pacific region, according to the statement. The officials will discuss issues including U.S.-Taiwan relations and global supply chains, it added.

Newsline: Bangladeshi diplomat face drug-related charges in Indonesia

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh said it would take strict action against diplomat Kazi Anarkali over the alleged possession of narcotics at her home in Indonesia. According to Muhammad Faruk Khan, chairman of Bangladesh’s Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, “she is currently placed as an officer on special duty.” A committee is also at work. If she is found guilty, she could face the maximum administrative penalty.” He also stated that a letter was sent to the Indonesian government to learn more about what happened there. (https://www.bignewsnetwork.com/news/272650715/bengali-female-diplomat-arrested-for-keeping-narcotics-at-her-home-in-indonesia) Anarkali, the former deputy chief of the Jakarta Mission, was detained and brought back from Jakarta for allegedly having a large amount of marijuana in her home. In the first week of July, the Indonesian government’s narcotics control authority raided Anarkali’s apartment in Jakarta. She was detained but later released due to diplomatic immunity, specifically at the request of the Indonesian government.