Diplomatic Briefing

Your exclusive news aggregator handpicked daily!

Archive for December 13, 2022

Newsline: Diplomats say Bosnia to be given EU candidate status

European Union general affairs ministers agreed on Tuesday that Bosnia should become a formal candidate to join the 27-nation EU in a recommendation that will have to be endorsed by EU leaders on Thursday, diplomats said. “It was part of the enlargement conclusions which have been agreed this morning,” one EU diplomat said. “And with the clear condition that the reforms set out by the Commission and the 14 key reforms agreed in 2019 have to be fulfilled before negotiations would start,” the diplomat said. (https://neuters.de/world/europe/eu-ministers-recommend-bosnia-gets-eu-candidate-status-diplomats-2022-12-13/) Bosnia will be joining other EU candidates — Albania, Moldova, the Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine — in the process to join the EU which can take many years and involves complex negotiations on adjusting local laws to match those of the EU. Turkey has been an EU candidate since 1999.

Newsline: France says Iran envoy was summoned

France’s foreign minister said on Tuesday Iran’s charge d’affaires had been summoned. (https://neuters.de/world/official-france-says-iran-diplomat-was-summoned-over-countrys-attitude-2022-12-13/) France’s top diplomat explained the move by Iran’s role in Ukraine, crackdowns on protesters at home and the treatment of seven French nationals, currently in custody.

Newsline: Beijing’s ambassador to the U.S. expects easier travel to China

China’s ambassador to the United States on Monday said he believes China’s COVID-19 measures will be further relaxed in the near future and international travel to the country will become easier. Ambassador Qin Gang told an event staged by the Semafor news platform that China’s government was taking a very responsible attitude to protect people from the threat of COVID-19, and said his country’s policy had always been “dynamic, not rigid.” “Now the measures are being relaxed, and in the near future, I believe that the measures will be further relaxed and international travel will become easier … from all the directions to China.” (https://neuters.de/world/china/chinas-us-envoy-expects-easier-travel-china-near-future-2022-12-12/) China has all but shut its borders to international travel for nearly three years. International flights remain still at a fraction of pre-pandemic levels and arrivals face eight days in quarantine.

Newsline: Australia, Vanuatu top diplomats clinch security deal

Australia signed a security deal on Tuesday with the Pacific islands nation of Vanuatu, it said in a statement, amid concern over China’s military ambitions for the strategically important region. Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong is visiting Vanuatu with a bipartisan delegation, as Australia steps up its diplomacy throughout the Pacific islands after the Solomon Islands signed a security pact with Beijing in April. The security deal covers cooperation in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, policing, defence, border security, environment and resource security, cyber security and maritime and aviation safety and security, the statement said. Vanuatu’s Foreign Minister Jotham Napat told reporters on Monday the Pacific island’s new government, elected last month, has not held security discussions with China. (https://neuters.de/world/asia-pacific/australia-vanuatu-strike-security-pact-covering-policing-defence-cyber-2022-12-13/) In May, China sought but failed to reach a wider security and trade pact with 10 out of 18 Pacific island nations. Australia and New Zealand have argued security and policing needs should be met within the region.