Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for October 19, 2022

Newsline: US urges Yemen rebels to release its embassy employees

The United States on Wednesday called for the release of 12 embassy employees held by Houthi rebels in Yemen. “Today, we mark a somber anniversary. One year ago today, the Houthis began detaining Yemeni staff of the US Embassy in Sanaa,” US Ambassador Steven Fagin said in a statement. “The Houthis went to their homes in the middle of the night, rounded them up, and took them away,” he added. “It’s time to bring them home. I call on the Houthis to release all of them immediately so that they can be reunited with their families,” the envoy said. (https://www.aa.com.tr/en/americas/us-urges-yemen-rebels-to-release-its-embassy-employees/2715686) There was no comment from the Houthi group on the US statement.

Newsline: Indian Embassy in Ukraine tells citizens to leave at the earliest

The Indian Embassy in Ukraine on Wednesday advised all Indian citizens, including students, to leave the war-torn nation at the earliest by available means, due to “deteriorating security situation” there. The advisory, issued by the Indian Embassy, also warns citizens against traveling to the war-ravaged nation due to “escalation of hostilities across Ukraine”. (https://www.daijiworld.com/news/newsDisplay?newsID=1011561) Ukraine was attacked by Russia in February this year and the war has escalated in the last eight months, with Russia having bombed several of its major cities.

Newsline: Ukrainian ambassador to Kazakhstan who spoke of killing Russians dismissed

Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelenski has dismissed his ambassador to Kazakhstan, Petro Vrublevsky, who in August said in an interview that the Ukrainians are “trying to kill as many Russians as possible” because the more they kill now, “the less our children will have to kill,” he said. “I released Petro Yuriyovich Vrublevsky from the post of ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of Ukraine to the Republic of Kazakhstan,” Zelensky says in a presidential decree published Wednesday. (https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/zelensky-dismisses-ukrainian-ambassador-to-kazakhstan-who-spoke-of-killing-as-many-russians-as-possible/ar-AA1384S3?li=BBnbfcL) Those statements by Vrublevsky caused him to be summoned by the Kazakh Foreign Ministry, which reproached him that his position is “unacceptable” and “incompatible” with the activities of an ambassador, as they harm friendly relations between the states. Consequently, Russia demanded the expulsion of Vrublevsky, a demand that Astana censured Moscow for “being dissonant with the nature of allied relations between Kazakhstan and Russia as equal strategic partners”.

Newsline: EU’s top diplomat rejects claims his ‘jungle’ comments were racist

The European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Tuesday denied that comments he made last week were racist and apologised for any offence caused by the remarks. In his remarks at the new European Diplomatic Academy in Bruges, Belgium, which have been widely circulated online, Borrell called Europe “a garden” and most of the world a “jungle” that “could invade the garden”. In a blog post published late on Tuesday, Borrell said his reference to a “jungle” referred to increasing examples of countries using force, intimidation and blackmail – behaviour at odds with agreed international norms. Borrell acknowledged that some dislike the metaphor because it has been used by U.S. “neo-conservatives”. “I am far from this school of political thought,” he added. (https://www.reuters.com/world/eus-top-diplomat-denies-jungle-comments-were-racist-2022-10-18/) But Mr. Borrell’s garden/jungle talk shocked traditional European allies who quickly denounced it. “What a terrible analogy Mr. Borrell has made,” said Bob Rae, Canada’s United Nations ambassador, in a tweet on Sunday. The United Arab Emirates on Monday summoned the acting head of the mission at the EU delegation to the UAE, asking for explanation of what it said were racist comments made by Borrell. A spokeswoman for Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, who is basically his boss, said that she retained confidence in him and did not offer any corrections to the garden metaphor.