Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for November 4, 2022

Newsline: G7 top diplomats focus on Ukraine, China

Top diplomats from the Group of Seven nations on Friday focused on Ukrainian crisis and China’s increasing assertiveness. Foreign ministers from the G-7, wrapping up two days of talks in the historic western German city of Muenster, were set to release a statement asserting common positions on Ukraine, Russia, China and recent developments in Iran and North Korea, officials said. Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.K. and the United States comprise the G-7. A year after warning Russia about the consequences of invading Ukraine, the G-7 ministers were to endorse further punishments for the Kremlin and additional backing for Kyiv and countries affected by food and energy shortages that the war has exacerbated, the officials said. (https://news.yahoo.com/g7-ministers-rally-support-ukraine-111536517.html) The ministers called out Iran for allegedly supplying weapons to Russia and a brutal crackdown on antigovernment protesters. Their statement further condemned the recent escalation of tensions in Asia caused by North Korean military activity.

Newsline: US Embassy officials meet with detained WNBA star Brittney Griner in Russia

United States Embassy officials in Moscow have met with Brittney Griner, the White House announced Thursday. “We are told she’s doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters after the State Department confirmed the meeting. (https://sports.yahoo.com/us-embassy-officials-meet-detained-191332689.html) Early last week, a Russian court rejected Griner’s appeal of her nine-year prison sentence for drug possession. Jean-Pierre said Russia continues to refuse a “significant offer” from the United States to “resolve the current unacceptable and wrongful detention” of Griner and former U.S. Marine, Paul Whelan, who is also imprisoned in Russia. Whelan is serving a 16-year prison sentence for espionage-related charges. The United States considers both Americans wrongfully detained.

Newsline: UK abandons plans to move Israel embassy to Jerusalem

The United Kingdom has “no plans” to relocate its Israel embassy to Jerusalem, according to a spokeswoman for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, dismissing his predecessor’s review into a possible move of the embassy away from Tel Aviv. The spokeswoman for Sunak, who replaced Liz Truss as prime minister last week, told reporters on Thursday that the relocation idea had been “looked at” under the previous administration. When asked if the UK was still considering the relocation, she said the government had “no [such] plans”. (https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/11/3/uk-has-no-plans-to-move-israel-embassy-to-jerusalem-pm-office) The UK has for decades housed its embassy in Tel Aviv, where most other countries have their diplomatic outposts, despite Israel designating Jerusalem as its capital. Truss’s announcement in late September that she was considering relocating the embassy to Jerusalem was welcomed at the time by Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid but provoked a backlash from the Palestinian government, pro-Palestinian groups, British church leaders and European foreign ministers, among others.