Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for November 18, 2022

Newsline: German diplomat becomes first EU envoy to acknowledge India’s position

The recently concluded G20 Bali summit is being hailed as one of the most successful congregations of regional heavyweights in recent times. The concluding declaration included in word and spirit Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s phrase “today’s era must not be of war” which is being hailed as one of the strongest messages of maintaining peace and harmony in the world. German Ambassador Dr Phillip Ackermann is one of the first diplomats from the European block to give his reactions of the G20 summit applauding India’s position at the three-day summit in Bali. Praising India’s contribution in the drafting of the declaration, Dr Ackermann in an exclusive interaction with Financial Express Online, New Delhi, said, “Without India, this statement would not have been possible. And that’s for us a very satisfying moment of this because the Indian side has accepted it and has supported the same as us. And that’s very, I think a very good sign”. (https://www.msn.com/en-in/news/other/germany-becomes-first-eu-country-to-acknowledge-india-s-position/ar-AA14gbrh) From December 1, India will officially assume the presidency of the G20 at one of the most complicated political and strategic developments in modern times.

Newsline: Uzbekistan summoned German ambassador

A German investigation into Russian-Uzbek billionaire businessman Alisher Usmanov, who is accused of money-laundering and tax evasion, has tested diplomatic relations between Germany and Uzbekistan, the Spiegel news magazine reported on Friday. (https://wsau.com/2022/11/18/uzbekistan-summoned-german-ambassador-over-oligarch-probe-spiegel/) A series of crisis talks have taken place between the countries’ diplomats, according to the report, including the summoning of the German ambassador in Tashkent. This followed searches carried out at properties registered to Usmanov on the shores of the Tegernsee lake in southern Germany on Sept. 21.The Uzbek ambassador to Berlin also appealed to the German Foreign Office for an appointment with the Federal Criminal Police Office, without success, the report said. According to Spiegel, investigators accuse Usmanov of withholding around 555 million euros in taxes from the German treasury between 2014 and 2022. His spokesperson has rejected the accusations against him as baseless and defamatory.

Newsline: China’s Xi restarts personal diplomacy

President Xi Jinping, conspicuously absent from the main stage of diplomacy during China’s COVID isolation, has been mostly smiles and handshakes on his return this week with a flurry of meetings that Beijing hopes will begin to mend frayed relations. (https://news.yahoo.com/analysis-unmasked-charge-chinas-xi-091837034.html) But in an exchange that went viral, a mask-less Xi was also captured on-camera giving Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a dressing-down at the Group of 20 (G20) summit over media leaks, apparently from their bilateral meeting a day previously. It was a rare, candid glimpse of the Chinese leader and a reminder of Beijing’s testy relations with the West. China’s absence from face-to-face interactions during the pandemic has been costly, diplomats and other experts say, as ties with the United States and some Asian neighbours have badly deteriorated over a range of disputes. With other leaders having so little recent access to top Chinese officials, Xi’s presence this week on the Indonesian island of Bali for the G20 followed by an APEC summit in Bangkok is magnified by its scarcity value. The resumption of dialogue, including Xi’s first meeting with Joe Biden as U.S. president and the first direct talks with an Australian leader since 2016, is itself a positive, China-watchers said, even if it doesn’t immediately yield concrete results. Besides Biden, Trudeau and Australia’s Anthony Albanese, Xi also met the leaders of South Korea, Italy, Argentina, Holland and France for bilateral talks in Bali. A meeting with Britain’s Rishi Sunak was cancelled because of scheduling issues, Downing Street said, while Xi is set to hold talks with Japan’s Fumio Kishida amd New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern in Bangkok.