Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for August 24, 2022

Newsline: Ukraine’s ambassador criticises Pope over comments on Russian killed by car bomb

Ukraine’s ambassador to the Vatican on Wednesday criticised Pope Francis for referring to Darya Dugina, daughter of a prominent Russian ultra-nationalist, who was killed by a car bomb near Moscow, as an innocent victim of war. It is highly unusual for ambassadors to the Vatican to criticise the pope publicly. “Innocents pay for war,” Francis said earlier at his Wednesday general audience in a sentence where he referred to “that poor girl thrown in the air by a bomb under the seat of a car in Moscow”. In a Tweet, Andrii Yurash, Ukraine’s ambassador to the Holy See, said the pope’s words were “disappointing”. “How (is it) possible to mention one of ideologists of (Russian) imperialism as innocent victim?” he said. Francis called the war “madness”. He said Ukrainian and Russian children had been killed and that “being an orphan knows no nationality”. In his Tweet, Yurash said: “can’t speak in same categories about aggressor and victim, rapist and raped”. (https://news.yahoo.com/pope-warns-potential-nuclear-disaster-083301194.html) The Vatican did not immediately respond to Yurash’s comments.

Newsline: South Sudan’s diplomat accused in NYC rape may have fled US with family

The African envoy accused of raping a neighbor in their Upper Manhattan building and then dodging charges thanks to diplomatic immunity may have fled the US. No sounds came from inside Charles Dickens Imene Oliha’s apartment Tuesday when The Post repeatedly knocked, and there was no light visible from behind a red curtain fluttering in a window. The State Department wouldn’t say if Oliha, 46, left the country or if the US government was seeking to have his immunity revoked, with a rep saying, “We do not comment on the specifics of ongoing investigations. “We are aware of the incident referenced involving a diplomat accredited to the United Nations,” the representative said in an e-mail. (https://nypost.com/2022/08/23/african-diplomat-accused-in-nyc-rape-may-have-fled-us-with-wife-kids/) But Oliha was cut loose without any charges early Monday after detectives confirmed he enjoyed diplomatic immunity because of his job with South Sudan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the NYPD said. A representative of the Permanent Mission of the Republic of South Sudan to the UN did not return a request for comment from The Post on Tuesday.

Newsline: Brazil hits out at plans for strip club below its London consulate

A row has erupted over proposals to open a strip club in the basement of the Brazilian Consulate building in London. The Consulate-General of Brazil branded the plans for a late-night nude bar underneath its offices off Oxford Street “absolutely inappropriate” and said it could violate the country’s right to adequately perform its duties. The consulate occupies most of the six-storey building in Vere Street, while the ground and basement floors are rented out separately and have previously been a Lebanese restaurant which shut during the pandemic. Clarmans Clubs, led by the team behind SophistiCats gentlemen’s clubs, has applied for a sex entertainment venue (SEV) licence to provide “full nudity striptease” in the basement. In an objection to the plans submitted to Westminster council, the consulate said: “We find it absolutely inappropriate to allow a sexual entertainment venue to be established in the same building where consular functions are regularly exercised and through which circulate children, elderly and vulnerable people every day. “Not to mention the clear inconsistency that there would be between the granting of the required licence and the commitment undertaken by parties to the Vienna Convention to co-operate for the adequate performance of functions by consular posts.” (https://news.yahoo.com/brazil-hits-plans-strip-club-103449394.html) Brazil uses the offices to issue visas and help its citizens with problems as a support space to its main embassy near Trafalgar Square.