Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for September 20, 2022

Newsline: Israel appoints ambassador to Turkey for first time since 2018

Israel will have an ambassador in Turkey for the first time in four years, the latest step in warming relations between the two countries following a years-long rift. Irit Lillian, a senior diplomat who has been in charge of the Israeli embassy in Ankara for the last two years, will serve as the ambassador, Israel’s foreign ministry announced. (https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/9/20/israel-appoints-ambassador-to-turkey-first-time-since-2018) In 2018, Turkey withdrew its ambassador from Israel and ordered Israel’s ambassador to leave in protest at Israel’s killing of dozens of Palestinians in protests along the Gaza border. Once-warm relations began to deteriorate after the election of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, an outspoken critic of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, as prime minister in 2003. Tensions peaked in 2010 when Israeli forces stormed a Turkish ship that broke through an Israeli blockade to deliver humanitarian aid to the Hamas-administered Gaza Strip. Nine Turkish activists were killed. However, the two countries have in recent years made efforts to put their troubled relationship behind them, as regional alliances shift.

Newsline: US top diplomat urges diplomacy as Armenia, Azerbaijan FMs meet

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has urged “a durable peace” between Armenia and Azerbaijan, as the top United States diplomat brought the two nations’ foreign ministers together for their first in-person meeting since an outbreak of violence last week. Blinken hosted Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan and Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov at a New York City hotel on Monday on the sidelines of the annual United Nations General Assembly. It was the foreign ministers’ first face-to-face meeting since two days of shelling last week. Blinken said he was “encouraged” there had been no violence for several days. “Strong, sustainable diplomatic engagement is the best path for everyone,” he said ahead of the meeting. (https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/9/19/blinken-urges-diplomacy-as-armenia-azerbaijan-fms-meet) The meeting was held just a day after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Armenia and condemned Azeri attacks, drawing complaints from Baku.

Newsline: Turkey says Pelosi’s statements ‘sabotage’ Armenia-Azerbaijan diplomacy

Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said that U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s “biased” statements regarding the clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan “sabotage diplomacy efforts” and were unacceptable. (https://news.yahoo.com/turkey-says-pelosis-statements-sabotage-120621976.html) Pelosi visited Armenia this weekend, in an unprecedented show of U.S. support for the country, which has for over three decades been locked in conflict with its neighbour Azerbaijan over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh. On Twitter, Oktay also called on Washington to clarify whether Pelosi’s statements reflect the official U.S. position.

Newsline: Moscow summons Canada envoy over Russian embassy attacks in Ottawa

Russia’s foreign ministry has summoned the Canadian ambassador and issued a protest over attacks on the Russian embassy in Ottawa, the ministry said. (https://finance.yahoo.com/news/moscow-summons-canada-envoy-over-145029900.html) It said an unknown person threw a Molotov cocktail onto the grounds of the Russian embassy in Ottawa. It also said “aggressive” demonstrators had blocked an entrance to the consular section of the embassy.