Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for November 6, 2022

Newsline: U.S. diplomacy eyes negotiated peace deal with Russia

U.S. diplomacy has privately asked the Ukrainian government to leave open the possibility of negotiating a peace deal with Russia to convince allied countries that the war in Ukraine is not festering and there is an exit option, sources close to the negotiations have told the ‘Washington Post’. These sources speak of a “calculated attempt” on the part of the US to guarantee Kiev the backing of governments whose electorates are beginning to tire of the conflict and the economic consequences it entails. “Fatigue over Ukraine is a reality for some of our partners,” a U.S. official acknowledged to the media on condition of anonymity. (https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/us-privately-advises-ukraine-not-to-reject-as-a-matter-of-course-russian-offers-for-negotiations/) However, the U.S. government has also conveyed to Kiev its conviction that none of Russia’s offers to negotiate have any credibility given its exaggerated demands, which virtually amount to unconditional surrender and implicit recognition of Russian sovereignty over the Ukrainian territories it has taken over. U.S. officials consulted by the newspaper do not rule out the possibility that Zelenski supports the possibility of a reopening of negotiations once winter arrives, when low temperatures make fighting practically impossible and a window for diplomacy opens.

Newsline: Top Cuba Diplomat Urges U.S. to End Sanctions Now

One day after the world delivered a near-unanimous rebuke of long-standing U.S. sanctions against his country for the 30th time in a row, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla defended his country’s track record at a time of economic turmoil in Cuba, which faces basic supply shortages that he also blamed on an embargo that was only tightened throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. He said Cuba was open to discussing any bilateral issue with the U.S. except for the Communist-led island’s internal affairs, which he asserted was a matter of national sovereignty and independence. Far from being a state sponsor of terrorism, Cuba, he argued, was a friendly neighbor prepared to work with the U.S. in good faith on a range of common issue. Despite the bad blood between the two governments, he said it was within Biden’s power to remove at least some of the harshest measures against Cuba with the stroke of a pen. (https://www.newsweek.com/exclusive-top-cuba-diplomat-urges-biden-end-sanctions-nowworld-agrees-1757164) In a direct appeal, Cuba’s top diplomat urged the Biden administration, U.S. policymakers and the public to rethink a policy that he argued was responsible not only for the suffering of everyday Cubans but also a deterioration in Washington’s relationship with the international community. This was especially the case in Latin America, he noted, where a new wave of leftist leaders was expected to shore up ties with Havana, leaving Washington as isolated as ever in its own hemisphere.

Newsline: Thousands of global diplomats gather in Egypt to discuss climate change

The United Nations’ latest annual climate change conference, COP27, is set to kick off Monday at the luxurious resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, where thousands of leaders will engage in wide-ranging policy discussions. The conference comes one year after COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, where leaders from around the world, including nations with the highest emissions, signed a non-binding climate agreement resembling previous pacts. Shortly following the agreement, though, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres downplayed the agreement and paved the way for COP27. “It’s an important step, but it’s not enough,” he said at the time. “It’s time to go into emergency mode.” (https://www.foxnews.com/politics/cop27-thousands-global-diplomats-descend-ritzy-five-star-resort-egypt-solve-global-warming) Groups, including Greenpeace International, similarly criticized the agreement, calling it a “polite request.” Ahead of this year’s summit, which is scheduled to begin Monday and conclude on Nov. 18, high-ranking officials in the U.S. and other Western nations have reiterated the importance of solving global warming, which they characterized as the biggest threat facing humanity.