Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for November 14, 2022

Newsline: G-20 Diplomats Agree on Statement Despite Differences on Russia

Group of 20 diplomats agreed on a proposed communique to put to their leaders when they meet Tuesday in Bali, Indonesia, after a tense day of negotiations to overcome differences on how hard to criticize Russia for its war in Ukraine, according to officials familiar with the matter. If leaders sign off it will avoid this becoming the first G-20 summit to end without a joint statement at all. To get there, negotiators had to devise language that walked the line between acknowledging Russia’s concerns and extracting concessions from it. One diplomat cautioned that things were not completely ironed on with the full draft still not circulating even as a verbal understanding was reached, and with leaders yet to approve the language. The planned draft declaration will point to an earlier United Nations resolution, which deplored Russia’s aggression while demanding it withdraw from Ukraine, the people said. (https://news.yahoo.com/g-20-diplomats-draft-communique-133312244.html) At the same time, the proposed G-20 statement will note differences between some nations by recalling their previously-stated positions on the conflict, the people said. One added the plan for now was to refer to the “war in Ukraine” as opposed to “Russia’s war in Ukraine.” Moscow insists on calling its invasion a “special military operation” and has made it a criminal offense at home to describe it as a war. Some officials had talked earlier Monday of the prospect of a communique involving different language in some parts where the war would be described.

Newsline: Top level diplomacy between China and US entails goodwill gestures

Joe Biden and Xi Jinping agreed to a series of goodwill gestures intended to improve ties between their countries after the first in-person meeting between the leaders of the US and China since the pandemic began. The two men met for about three hours on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, greeting each other with a handshake and conciliatory remarks in which they both called for calming tensions. The White House said in a statement afterward that Secretary of State Antony Blinken would travel to China, in a sign of a thaw. The countries will also resume talks between senior officials on issues including climate change, economic stability and debt relief, and health and food security, according to the statement. China’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement after the meeting that “suppression and containment will only strengthen the will and boost the morale of the Chinese people.” (https://finance.yahoo.com/news/biden-meets-xi-asia-allies-133056797.html) Biden and Xi also agreed that “a nuclear war should never be fought” and that they oppose “the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine.” Xi and the Chinese government have been reticent to publicly criticize Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

Newsline: Russia’s top diplomat reported to leave hospital in Bali after ‘checkup’

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov visited and later left a Bali hospital ahead of the Group of 20 summit being held on the island, Indonesian authorities said Monday. Russia denied that he had been hospitalized. Russia’s top diplomat arrived on the resort island the previous evening to take part in the meeting of the world’s leading economies, which begins Tuesday. Bali Gov. I Wayan Koster said Lavrov was taken to Sanglah Hospital, the island’s biggest, “for a health checkup.” “He left the hospital after a brief checkup and his health is in good condition,” the governor said. Four Indonesian government and medical officials earlier told The Associated Press that Lavrov was treated at the hospital in the provincial capital, Denpasar. (https://news.yahoo.com/indonesian-officials-russian-fm-lavrov-090854811.html) All of those officials declined to be identified as they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. Two of the people said Lavrov had sought treatment for a heart condition, with one later saying he’d returned to his hotel. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova denied that Lavrov had been hospitalized, calling it “the highest level of fakes.” She did not address whether he had received medical treatment. She posted a video of Lavrov, looking healthy in a T-shirt and shorts, in which he was asked to comment on the report. Russia’s state news agency Tass separately cited Lavrov as saying, “I’m in the hotel, reading materials for the summit tomorrow.” The hospital did not immediately comment.

Newsline: Russian top diplomat taken to hospital in Bali, Indonesia

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has been taken to the hospital after suffering a health problem following his arrival for the Group of 20 summit in Bali, Indonesian authorities said Monday. Three Indonesian government and medical officials told The Associated Press that the Russian diplomat was being treated on the resort island. (https://news.yahoo.com/indonesian-officials-russian-fm-lavrov-090854811.html) All declined to be identified as they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. Two of the people said Lavrov was being treated for a heart condition. The officials said he was taken to Sanglah Hospital in the provincial capital, Denpasar. The hospital did not immediately comment. Officials at the Russian Embassy could not immediately be reached for comment. Lavrov is the highest-ranking Russian official attending the G-20 summit that begins Tuesday.