Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for August 31, 2022

Newsline: U.S. senior diplomat to visit Jerusalem, Ramallah for talks with Israelis, Palestinians

Barbara Leaf, the State Department’s most senior diplomat for the Middle East, will arrive in Israel on Thursday for talks with Israeli and Palestinian officials in Jerusalem and Ramallah, Israeli and Palestinian officials told Axios. (https://www.axios.com/2022/08/31/us-state-leaf-visit-israel-palestinians-talks) Leaf’s visit comes as the U.S. tries to convince Palestinian leadership, which is frustrated with the diplomatic stalemate in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, not to pursue a bid at the UN Security Council for full UN membership. Hady Amr, the State Department’s point person on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, arrived in Jerusalem on Tuesday to prepare Leaf’s visit, Israeli and Palestinian officials said. Palestinian officials in recent days doubled down on their intention to pursue a vote at the Security Council, saying they will push for it even though they know the U.S. will veto it. According to Palestinian officials, President Mahmoud Abbas is planning to start the process immediately after his speech at the UN General Assembly, which starts on Sept. 20.

Newsline: UN rights chief leaving with China report still unreleased

Diplomats paid tribute to departing UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet on Tuesday, despite her failure to release a long-promised report on alleged abuses in China’s Xinjiang region. (https://news.yahoo.com/un-rights-chief-leaving-china-114429346.html) A long line of country representatives took the floor at a UN rights council to praise how Bachelet had handled the challenges of the past four years. But while the former Chilean president was greeted with praise, flowers and a standing ovation, the row over a long-promised report on the rights situation in Xinjiang remains unresolved. Bachelet told the council nearly a year ago that her office was finalising a report on the situation in the far-western Chinese region, where Beijing stands accused of detaining more than one million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities. She steps down from her post on Wednesday with her successor still to be appointed — and the report still unreleased. Rights groups have grown increasingly frustrated at the delay.

Newsline: Brazil prosecutors charge German diplomat for husband’s death

Brazilian state prosecutors pressed charges against a German diplomat accused of the murder of his Belgian husband and are investigating reports that he has left the country after a court released him from police custody. (https://news.yahoo.com/brazil-prosecutors-charge-german-diplomat-235837600.html) Uwe Herbert Hahn, who worked at the German consulate in Rio de Janeiro, was indicted by the city prosecutors’ office with aggravated murder, following the death of his husband, Walter Biot, earlier this month. On Friday, a state court released Hahn from a preemptive arrest he had been on since Aug. 7, claiming that prosecutors missed the initial deadline to present charges. According to Brazilian news portal G1, Hahn took a flight out of Brazil and arrived on Frankfurt, Germany, early on Monday. The prosecutors’ office said it was still investigating whether the consul left the country. The German consulate in Rio de Janeiro could not be reached for comment.