Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for September 7, 2022

Newsline: Diplomats from Japan, US, South Korea reaffirm joint stance on North Korea

Diplomats from Japan, the United States and South Korea reaffirmed their commitment on Wednesday to working together in response to any threat from North Korea, including a possible new nuclear test. The three senior diplomats in charge of North Korean affairs also underscored their efforts to strengthen their security partnership. Takehiro Funakoshi, director-general of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau of Japan’s Foreign Ministry, said the focus of the trilateral cooperation is North Korea and its accelerating nuclear and missile development. Sung Kim, the U.S. special envoy for North Korea, said the three countries are prepared for “all contingencies … in responding to (North Korea’s) provocations” and to protect allies in the region. Kim Gunn, South Korea’s special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, called for further efforts to ensure full implementation of sanctions against North Korea under United Nations Security Council resolutions. Funakoshi said he and his U.S. and South Korean counterparts, Sung Kim and Kim Gunn, were to discuss their countries’ responses to North Korea as they work together to enhance regional deterrence amid “a looming possibility of further provocations including another nuclear test.” (https://wtop.com/asia/2022/09/japan-us-s-korea-reaffirm-joint-response-to-n-korea-threat/) North Korea last conducted a nuclear test, its sixth, in 2017, and experts have noted signs of preparations for another test.

Newsline: Albania cut diplomatic ties with Iran

Albania severed diplomatic relations with Iran on Wednesday and ordered Iranian diplomats and embassy staff to leave within 24 hours, saying a probe had found the Islamic Republic was behind a cyberattack on the country in July. “The government has decided with immediate effect to end diplomatic relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Prime Minister Edi Rama said in a video statement sent to the media. “This extreme response … is fully proportionate to the gravity and risk of the cyberattack that threatened to paralyse public services, erase digital systems and hack into state records, steal government intranet electronic communication and stir chaos and insecurity in the country,” Rama said. (https://www.reuters.com/world/albania-cuts-iran-ties-orders-diplomats-go-after-cyber-attack-pm-says-2022-09-07/) There was no immediate comment from the Iranian Embassy in Tirana.

Newsline: Slovenia summons Serbian ambassador

The Slovenian Foreign Ministry summoned Serbian Ambassador to Slovenia Zorana Vlatkovic for talks on the statements made by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic about Slovenia during Slovenian President Borut Pahor’s visit to Belgrade, the Slovenian news agency STA reported. “We have informed the Serbian side that we are very surprised by President Vucic’s statements,” the ministry stated in a press release, according to STA. (https://www.ansa.it/nuova_europa/en/news/sections/politics/2022/09/06/slovenia-serbian-ambassador-summoned-after-vucics-remarks_8645060d-2bcb-4436-81ec-66454bd227ea.html) The statement in question was Vucic’s remark when asked if Serbia would join EU sanctions against Russia. “How should I explain to our citizens that we impose sanctions on Russia, which has not violated Serbia’s territorial integrity, but not on Slovenia, which has?” Vucic asked, referring to Slovenia’s recognition of Kosovo’s independence.

Newsline: Israel’s Ambassador to Morocco recalled amid harassment allegations

Israel’s Foreign Ministry recalled Ambassador David Govrin from his post in Morocco amid an ongoing inquiry into allegations of sexual harassment, according to a spokesperson. A delegation from Israel, led by the Foreign Ministry’s Inspector General Hagay Behar, arrived in Morocco and is conducting the review. In a statement to i24NEWS the Israeli Foreign Ministry said that, “The issue is known about and is being dealt with.” (https://www.i24news.tv/en/news/israel/diplomacy/1662371775-morocco-embassy-allegations-israeli-diplomats-accused-of-impropriety) Allegations include the exploitation and harassment of Moroccan women, possible conflicts of interest and the disappearance of gifts received by the mission. A number of other leading Israeli politicians and diplomats are also linked to these claims, according to reports. Besides the accusations of sexual misconduct, it is also examining the disappearance of a gift card received by the embassy from the Moroccan royal household during Israeli independence day celebrations, and a dispute between the ambassador and the embassy’s head of security. If the inquiry surfaces any truth to the allegations, it could cause a diplomatic incident between the two nations that only recently renewed diplomatic contact as part of the Abraham Accords.