Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for October 26, 2022

Newsline: Russia and Belarus ambassadors barred from Nobel ceremony

The ambassadors of Russia and Belarus have been excluded from this year’s Nobel Prize ceremony in Stockholm because of the war in Ukraine. “Due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Nobel Foundation has chosen not to invite the ambassadors of Russia and Belarus to the Nobel Prize ceremony in Stockholm,” it said in a statement. (https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/russia-and-belarus-ambassadors-barred-from-nobel-ceremony/) The Nobel Foundation, a private foundation which administers the prestigious awards, normally invites ambassadors stationed in Sweden to the annual award ceremony on December 10. The Nobel Prizes are always handed out on December 10, the anniversary of prize founder Alfred Nobel’s death in 1896.

Newsline: US authorizes diplomats to leave Nigerian capital

The United States authorized the departure of diplomats from the Nigerian capital Abuja, stepping up precautions over what it said was the threat of attacks. The State Department said in a statement it was permitting but not requiring non-emergency US personnel and their families to leave Abuja “due to the heightened risk of terrorist attacks.” It did not order an evacuation and overall travel advice to Americans was unchanged, with the State Department advising citizens to reconsider non-essential travel to Nigeria due to concerns over crime and unrest. The latest US security move comes after the embassy on Sunday urged Americans to limit their movements due to an “elevated risk of terror attacks in Nigeria, specifically in Abuja,” a warning repeated by Britain, Canada and Australia. (https://news.yahoo.com/us-authorizes-diplomats-leave-nigerian-162354543.html) The United States did not specify the threat. Abuja, a pre-planned capital of six million people built in the 1980s, has historically been seen as safe but insurgents linked to the Islamic State group have claimed several attacks in surrounding areas over the past six months.

Newsline: China accused of illegal police stations in the Netherlands

The Chinese government has been accused of establishing at least two undeclared “police stations” in the Netherlands. Dutch media found evidence that the “overseas service stations”, which promise to provide diplomatic services, are being used to try to silence Chinese dissidents in Europe. A spokeswoman for the Dutch foreign ministry said the existence of the unofficial police outposts was illegal. The Chinese embassy says it is not aware of their existence. (https://news.yahoo.com/china-accused-illegal-police-stations-052251958.html) The investigation was sparked by a report entitled Chinese Transnational Policing Gone Wild, by the Spain-based NGO Safeguard Defenders. According to the organisation, the public security bureaus from two Chinese provinces had established 54 “overseas police service centres” across five continents and 21 countries. Most of them are in Europe, including nine in Spain and four in Italy. In the UK, it found two in London and one in Glasgow. The units were ostensibly created to tackle transnational crime and conduct administrative duties, such as the renewal of Chinese drivers’ licences. But, according to Safeguard Defenders, in reality they carry out “persuasion operations”, aimed at coercing those suspected of speaking out against the Chinese regime to return home.