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Archive for December 17, 2022

Newsline: U.N. shelves bid by Myanmar, Afghanistan and Libya for representation

The United Nations General Assembly on Friday approved postponing – for the second time – a decision on whether the Afghan Taliban administration and the Myanmar junta can send a United Nations ambassador to New York. The 193-member General Assembly approved without a vote the decision by the U.N. credentials committee, which also deferred a decision on rival claims to Libya’s U.N. seat. The nine-member committee includes Russia, China and the United States. The postponement of decisions on Myanmar, Afghanistan and Libya leaves the current envoys in place. But the credentials committee said it could “revert to consideration of these credentials at a future time in the seventy-seventh session” of the General Assembly, which ends in September next year. (https://neuters.de/world/un-shelves-bid-by-afghan-taliban-myanmar-junta-representation-2022-12-16/) Competing claims were again made for the seats of Myanmar and Afghanistan with the Taliban administration and Myanmar’s junta pitted against envoys of the governments they ousted last year. U.N. acceptance of the Taliban administration or Myanmar’s junta would be a step toward the international recognition sought by both. A rival claim was also made this year for Libya’s U.N. seat – currently held by the Government of National Unity in Tripoli – by a “Government of National Stability” led by Fathi Bashagha and backed by a parliament in the country’s east.

Newsline: U.S. State Department launches ‘China House’

The U.S. State Department on Friday launched its long-planned “China House” unit, an internal reorganization to help expand and sharpen its policymaking toward its top geopolitical rival. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in May announced the creation of China House, calling it a department-wide, integrated team that would coordinate and implement U.S. policy across issues and regions. Blinken on Friday presided over the official opening of the unit, formally called the Office of China Coordination, noting that it would ensure the United States is able to “responsibly manage” competition with Beijing, according to a department statement. China House will bring together China experts from throughout the department to coordinate with “every regional bureau and experts in international security, economics, technology, multilateral diplomacy, and strategic communications,” the statement quoted Blinken as saying. (https://neuters.de/world/us/state-department-launches-china-house-amid-rivalry-with-beijing-2022-12-16/) It will replace the department’s China Desk, but will continue to be overseen by Rick Waters, the deputy assistant secretary of state for China, Taiwan and Mongolia in the Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs, according to an official.

Newsline: Burkina Faso summons Ghanaian ambassador over Wagner allegations

Burkina Faso summoned the Ghanaian ambassador on Friday for “explanations” after Ghana’s president alleged that Burkina Faso had hired the Russian mercenary group Wagner, Burkina Faso’s foreign ministry said. Speaking to reporters alongside U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday, Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo alleged that Burkina Faso had hired the mercenaries. “Today, Russian mercenaries are on our northern border. Burkina Faso has now entered into an arrangement to go along with Mali in employing the Wagner forces there,” Akufo-Addo said, adding that it was a distressing development for Ghana. Akufo-Addo also alleged that Burkina Faso had offered Wagner a mine as payment. In a statement issued after the meeting with the ambassador, Burkina Faso’s foreign ministry said it had “expressed disapproval” about the statements made by the Ghanaian president. “Ghana could have undertaken exchanges with the Burkinabe authorities on the security issue in order to have the right information,” it said. However, it did not confirm or deny the allegations. In a separate message to Reuters, the foreign ministry spokesperson said, without elaborating: “In any case, Burkina has not called on Wagner”. (https://neuters.de/world/africa/burkina-faso-summons-ghanaian-ambassador-over-wagner-allegations-2022-12-16/) Burkina Faso also recalled its ambassador from Ghana, the spokesperson said.