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Archive for October 23, 2022

Newsline: Protesters gather in Manchester after man ‘attacked’ at Chinese Consulate

Protesters are gathering in the city center this evening (Sunday, October 23) after a man was allegedly attacked at the Chinese Consulate in Manchester. The demonstration in St Peter’s Square today has been organised by Hong Kongers living in the UK. A number of signs and placards have been laid out. (https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/protesters-gather-city-centre-after-25335788) Hong Kong protester Bob Chan says he was ‘dragged’ into the Consultate grounds and assaulted during a pro-democracy rally outside the building on Denison Road in Rusholme last Sunday, October 16 which erupted into violence. There’s been widespread upset and condemnation following the incident during Mr Chan claims he was ‘hurt’ in an ‘unprovoked attack’ at the protest. The Foreign Secretary this week said he had issued a summons to the Chinese charge d’affaires at the country’s embassy in London “to express His Majesty’s Government’s deep concern at the incident and to demand an explanation for the actions of the consulate staff.” Police said an investigation is underway after reports ‘a small group of men came out of the building and a man was dragged into the Consulate grounds and assaulted.

Newsline: Bahamas’ Embassy in Brussels spent over $600,000 on furniture

An audit into the Bahamas’ Embassy in Brussels, Belgium found that over $600,000 of taxpayer’s money was spent on furniture purchases for the official residence. The report was one of several audits that looked into the financial operations of Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ embassies, consulate general offices and a permanent mission. “During our audit, we noted furniture purchased for the official residence in the amount of 472, 427.80 EUR or $614,156.14,” Auditor General Terrance Bastian said in an audit conducted between November 1, 2019, and July 7, 2022. (http://www.tribune242.com/news/2022/oct/20/600000-furniture-embassy/?news) Labour and Immigration Minister Keith Bell first raised alarm about the extravagant purchases in Parliament in June, accusing the Minnis administration of the “indiscriminate callous haemorrhage” of the public purse. At the time, he said more than $1m was spent on lavish items for an ambassador’s apartment in Europe, including middle chairs that cost nearly $40,000, a rug at $18,475, $14,000 for a lamp and $10,000 for a mahogany scroll among other costly purchases. In view of the findings, auditors recommended that the ministry establish policies for the purchasing of furnishings for all residents and embassies, consulate, etc, and noted that ambassadors should not solely be responsible for these functions but through consultations with the ministry.

Newsline: Iran opens consulate in Armenia’s southernmost region to counter Azerbaijan and Turkey

Iran has opened a consulate general in Kapan, located in the southernmost Armenian province of Syunik, in what appears to be a direct message to Azerbaijan and its backer Turkey. Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amirabdollahian officially inaugurated the consulate on Friday, making Iran the first country to establish a diplomatic mission in the province that is sought by Baku and Ankara. The move appeared to come in support of Tehran’s assertion that any changes in its borders and transit links with Armenia would be a “red line” that it would not tolerate being crossed. (https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/10/22/iran-opens-consulate-in-armenias-kapan-to-deliver-a-message) Azerbaijan – which also has a border with Iran – and its ally Turkey wish to establish a new transport link connecting Azerbaijan’s exclave of Nakhchivan with the Azerbaijani mainland, a route they call the “Zangezur corridor”. If the route is established, in effect bypassing Armenian checkpoints, it will have consequences for Iran-Armenia commerce and could sever a major Iranian transit link with the South Caucasus.