Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for November 19, 2022

Newsline: Burkina Faso protesters tried to storm French embassy

Police in Burkina Faso fired tear gas on Friday to disperse angry protesters who attempted to storm the French embassy in the capital Ouagadougou, local media reported. The protesters, who were demanding the expulsion of the French ambassador, rallied at the municipal stadium in the morning before heading to the French embassy, where they were dispersed by police tear gas, according to the local daily Le Faso. “Police fired tear gas after negotiations with the protesters asking them to leave the scene peacefully failed. But the protesters responded by stoning the embassy,” it said. (https://www.yenisafak.com/en/world/angry-protesters-try-to-storm-french-embassy-in-burkina-faso-report-3655785) Video footage showed the protesters, some riding on motorcycles, blowing whistles and vuvuzelas shouting slogans such as “down with France.” The protesters, mainly youth, accuse France of being responsible for Burkina Faso’s problems, including insecurity.

Newsline: Netherlands summons Russian ambassador

The Netherlands has summoned the Russian ambassador to give explanations on Moscow’s statements criticizing the recent judgment on the tragedy of flight MH17, issued by a court in The Hague that sentenced two Russian citizens to each life imprisonment for the death of the 298 people on board as a result of the downing of this plane in 2014. The Netherlands’ complaint is related to Moscow’s statement that the trial “was not impartial”, a “totally reprehensible” assessment, according to Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra, who has accused Russia of turning “the world upside down”, the daily ‘Het Parool’ reports. For Hoekstra, the Kremlin is reacting “incorrectly and indecently” to a decision of the Dutch legal system, which is “really unacceptable” if one takes into account, he emphasized, “that Russia is currently violating all the principles of international law”. Hoekstra said that it is essential to respond to these accusations coming from Russia, partly also to ‘show’ the relatives of the victims that the Netherlands stands for the division of powers. (https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/netherlands-summons-russian-ambassador-over-criticism-of-mh17-ruling/) The Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Thursday regretting that this court in The Hague had “ignored” the principles of impartiality, while criticizing the alleged political motivations behind the whole judicial process.

Newsline: US climate envoy contracts COVID-19 as COP27 remains in deadlock

US climate envoy John Kerry has tested positive for COVID-19 at the United Nations climate talks in Egypt, where negotiators were desperately trying to break a deadlock over loss and damage funding for developing countries battered by weather disasters. Kerry’s illness has added worries to the negotiations, which were scheduled to end on Friday but have been continuing with no clear end in sight. “He is fully vaccinated and boosted and experiencing mild symptoms. He is working with his negotiations team and foreign counterparts by phone to ensure a successful outcome of COP27,” Kerry’s spokeswoman Whitney Smith wrote in a statement late on Friday. (https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/11/19/cop27-in-deadlock-as-us-envoy-john-kerry-contracts-covid-19) The talks at the COP27 summit in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh have stumbled on the controversial issue of “loss and damage” funding for less developed countries to deal with the effects of climate change. Loss and damage remains the main sticking point between rich and poor nations, particularly the issue of how to compensate countries that have already been ravaged by climate-driven floods, droughts, mega-storms and wildfires. Negotiations, at least those in public, hit a lull by Friday evening as press conferences and plenaries were postponed or cancelled. Diplomats said they hoped for late-night progress as they changed airline reservations for talks going into extended overtime on Saturday.