Diplomatic Briefing

Your exclusive news aggregator handpicked daily!

Archive for November 2, 2022

Newsline: Russia to summon British ambassador

Russia will summon Britain’s ambassador to Moscow over what it said was the involvement of British specialists in a Ukrainian drone strike on its Black Sea Fleet in Crimea, the foreign ministry said on Wednesday. Russia’s defence ministry said the attack was carried out under the guidance and leadership of British navy specialists, an assertion Britain has dismissed as false. “These actions were carried out under the guidance of British specialists,” Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters on Wednesday. “In this regard, the British ambassador will shortly be summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry.” (https://finance.yahoo.com/news/1-russia-summon-british-ambassador-101634732.html) Deborah Bronnert is Britain’s ambassador to Moscow.

Newsline: Netherlands tells Chinese ambassador that clandestine police offices must be closed “immediately”

Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra has told Chinese Ambassador Tan Jian that the clandestine offices that Beijing has allegedly set up on its territory to persecute political dissidents cannot be tolerated and must be shut down. These offices must be closed “immediately,” the Dutch foreign minister urged the Chinese diplomat, according to Nos, the Dutch public television channel. (https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/netherlands-tells-chinese-ambassador-that-clandestine-offices-must-be-closed-immediately/) China masks these alleged activities within what it calls “service centers”, which are active in several countries, according to information published last week by RTL Nieuws and the research platform Follow the Money. In theory, they serve to facilitate formalities for Chinese citizens living abroad, for example to renew driving licenses. However, it also performs police work and information gathering. The activity now under suspicion dates back to 2018, in the case of Amsterdam, and to this same year, in the case of Rotterdam.

Newsline: Algeria to become hotspot of Arab diplomacy

Algeria aims to demonstrate diplomatic clout this week as it hosts the first Arab League summit since before the COVID-19 pandemic. Arab states are split over issues ranging from support for the Palestinian cause, the regional roles of Iran and Turkey and the rehabilitation of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, while Algeria’s own bitter feud with Morocco continues to fester. In Algeria, largely absent from Arab affairs for several years following the 2019 mass protests that led to the ousting of president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the meeting has been portrayed as a mark of its return to frontline diplomacy. (https://news.yahoo.com/algeria-hosts-divided-arab-states-102146447.html) Since the last Arab summit three years ago, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan have also moved to normalise ties with Israel – a move regarded as a betrayal by many Palestinians. Last month Algiers convened Palestinian factions in an effort to end years of internal discord, and President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has in recent months hosted the leaders of France and Italy. However Algeria failed earlier this year to persuade other Arab states to end Syria’s suspension from membership of the league imposed in late 2011 over Assad’s crackdown on protesters as an uprising spilled into civil war. Damascus said in September it would not attend to avoid “causing dispute”. Some major Arab states including Saudi Arabia and Qatar backed Sunni Muslim rebels fighting Assad, a close ally of Iran. Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the United Arab Emirates leader Mohammed bin Zayed have both confirmed they are not coming to Algiers, as has Morocco’s King Mohammed VI. The presidents of Egypt and Tunisia and the monarchs of Kuwait and Qatar are among about two thirds of leaders whom the Arab League has said will attend.