Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for September 6, 2022

Newsline: Claims that Nancy Pelosi wants to be the US Ambassador to Italy rejected as ‘nonsense’

Nancy Pelosi’s office is pushing back on the ‘utter nonsense’ report that the Speaker will abandon her House leadership role to be U.S. Ambassador to Italy if Republicans take a majority after the 2022 midterms. ‘The Speaker has no interest in this position and has not discussed it with anyone in the White House,’ Pelosi’s spokesman Drew Hammill told DailyMail.com. A Monday report claims that Pelosi, 82, has no interest in returning to a minority leader role in Congress. According to Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo, sources claim President Joe Biden is holding onto the U.S. ambassador to Italy assignment for Pelosi. ‘This is the second time Maria Bartiromo has proceeded with reporting anonymous rumors about the Speaker’s future that have no merit,’ Hammill accused. ‘And the second time she has failed to ask us for comment before airing or publishing this utter nonsense.’ (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11184993/Pelosis-office-rejects-nonsense-report-wants-Ambassador-Italy-GOP-win-House.html) The White House refused to comment on the report, telling DailyMail.com: ‘We don’t engage in hypotheticals.’

Newsline: China’s ambassador to Australia threatens to ‘punish’ Taiwanese independence advocates

China’s ambassador to Australia has warned that Taiwanese people advocating full independence from the mainland will be “punished” according to Chinese law, speaking in an interview with the ABC’s 7.30 program. Ambassador Xiao Qian was pressed on whether Taiwanese people would be “re-educated” in the event of reunification with the mainland, as has been publicly suggested by China’s ambassador in Paris. Mr Xiao said they would be obliged to learn about China but rejected the idea the education would be “forced”. “This is a question of obligation … not a question of force,” he said. (https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australia/taiwanese-independence-advocates-will-be-punished-says-chinese-ambassador/ar-AA11whxR) But Mr Xiao said for a “handful” of “secessionists” who were “stubborn” in their pursuit of Taiwanese independence, it was “not a question of re-education” — instead, they would be “punished according to law”.

Newsline: ISIS claim responsibility for suicide bombing outside Russian embassy in Kabul

The terrorist group known as ISIS have claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing in Afghanistan. (https://euroweeklynews.com/2022/09/06/breaking-news-multiple-casualties-after-suicide-bombing-outside-russian-embassy-in-kabul-afghanistan/) Two Russian diplomats have reportedly been killed in the suicide bombing outside the Russian embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, as reported on Monday, September 5. The suicide bomber reportedly blew himself up outside the Russian embassy in Kabul, while waiting in line for visas. The attack outside the consular section of the Russian Embassy in Kabul took place as a member of the section came out to read out a list of those waiting in line for a visa, Afghan media reported.

Newsline: UN envoy says won’t visit Myanmar again until allowed to meet Suu Kyi

The UN’s Myanmar special envoy on Monday vowed not to visit the country again unless she is allowed to meet ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi. “If I ever visit Myanmar again, it will only be if I can meet with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi,” she told a seminar at the Singapore-based think-tank, the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, using a Burmese honorific for Suu Kyi. (https://news.yahoo.com/un-myanmar-envoy-says-wont-134552537.html) United Nations Special Envoy Noeleez Heyzer met with senior junta leaders in the capital last month during her first visit, 10 months after her appointment. The trip drew criticism from both the junta and the military’s opponents. She was denied access to detained democracy figurehead Suu Kyi, who has been sentenced to a total of two decades in prison. The UN envoy later irked junta officials who accused her of issuing a “one-sided statement” of what had been discussed. Days after Heyzer’s visit dozens of Myanmar civil society groups dismissed her trip as the “latest evidence of the historical ineffectualness” of UN envoys, and criticised her meeting with junta chief Min Aung Hlaing. They also called for her mandate to be terminated and for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to intervene personally in the crisis. Heyzer had called for an immediate end to violence and the release of all political prisoners, her office said at the time. More than 2,200 people have been killed and more than 15,000 arrested in the military’s crackdown on dissent since it seized power in February 2021, according to a local rights group. Diplomatic efforts to resolve Myanmar’s bloody impasse led by the UN and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations regional bloc have made little headway, with the generals refusing to engage with opponents.