Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for October 18, 2022

Newsline: Ukraine mulls cutting diplomatic ties with Iran

Ukraine’s foreign minister says he has proposed to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that Kyiv formally break off diplomatic ties with Iran, after Moscow launched attacks using what Kyiv says are Iranian-made drones. Ukraine said the attacks were carried out with Iranian-made Shahed-136 drones. Tehran has denied supplying the drones. “Given the amount of destruction Iranian drones have caused to Ukrainian civilian infrastructure, the deaths and injuries caused to our people, as well as … the possible continuation of Iran’s supply of weapons to Russia, I submitted a proposal to break off diplomatic ties with Iran to the Ukrainian president,” Dmytro Kuleba said in a video posted on Facebook Tuesday. “Tehran bears full responsibility for the destruction of relations with Ukraine”, Kuleba told a news conference. (https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/10/18/ukraine-foreign-minister-proposes-cutting-ties-with-iran) Kuleba said Kyiv was certain they were Iranian and would be ready to share a “bag of evidence” with any European powers that had doubts.

Newsline: China insists on right to defend consulate after alleged assault in Manchester

China’s Foreign Ministry said Tuesday its diplomatic missions abroad have the right to take measures to maintain security following an incident at the Chinese Consulate in Manchester. “The diplomatic missions of all countries have the right to take necessary measures to maintain the peace and dignity of the premises,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said in Beijing. He added that the British government should step up protection for Chinese diplomatic posts and personnel in the U.K. Police in the English city of Manchester said a peaceful protest outside the Chinese Consulate on Sunday turned into a “hostile” situation when unidentified men came out of the building, dragged one of the protesters into the consulate grounds and assaulted him. Police said officers had to intervene and remove the man. The man, who is in his 30s, told reporters that he was beaten up when protesters tried to stop the masked men from tearing down their anti-government placards outside the gates of the consulate. Wang Wenbin rejected the accounts of the protester and Manchester police, telling reporters Tuesday that the protester had “illegally entered” the consulate and “jeopardized the security of the Chinese diplomatic premises.” (https://www.boston25news.com/news/china-defends-right/) Britain’s foreign secretary summoned the charge d’affaires at the Chinese embassy in London on Tuesday to express the U.K.’s “deep concern” about the assault allegations and to demand an explanation for the actions of the Chinese consulate staff. Downing Street said the incident was “deeply concerning.” Foreign Office minister Jesse Norman said his department has clearly told the Chinese embassy that “all those on our soil have the right to express their views peacefully without fear of violence.”

Newsline: Australian embassy to remain in Tel Aviv

Foreign Minister Penny Wong has announced Labor would reverse Australia’s recognition of West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, hitting out at former prime minister Scott Morrison for his decision to “play politics” in shifting the position. Ms Wong on Tuesday said the Labor Government was committed to a two-state solution in which Israel and a future Palestinian state coexist “in peace and stability”. “Today the Government has reaffirmed Australia’s previous and long-standing position that Jerusalem is a final status issue that should be resolved as part of any peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian people,” she said. “This reverses the Morrison Government’s recognition of West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.” Ms Wong said Australia’s embassy would remain in Tel Aviv, where it “has always been”. The Foreign Minister said “Australia will always be a steadfast friend of Israel” as she criticised Mr Morrison’s shift and the “distress” it caused. (https://www.skynews.com.au/world-news/global-affairs/penny-wong-reverses-decision-to-recognise-west-jerusalem-as-capital-of-israel-with-the-australian-embassy-to-remain-in-tel-aviv/news-story/) In 2018 Mr Morrison made the move to officially recognise West Jerusalem as the capital, which Labor at the time strongly opposed.