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Archive for December 18, 2022

Newsline: Joe Kennedy III appointed as US special envoy for Northern Ireland

President Biden’s reported choice of former US Representative Joseph Kennedy III to serve as special envoy for Northern Ireland amid critical trade talks between the United Kingdom and European Union was largely hailed by Massachusetts political observers. The appointment of Kennedy, 42, as the next special envoy was reported by several media outlets, including Politico, Bloomberg, and the Washington Post. The Globe was not able to independently verify those reports Saturday. (https://www.bostonglobe.com/2022/12/17/metro/hes-perfect-choice-observers-hail-reported-pick-joe-kennedy-iii-special-envoy-northern-ireland/) Biden has long paid close attention to Irish affairs, and the post is seen as a critical role with UK and EU officials hammering out a post-Brexit protocol governing how trade will flow through Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, which still share an open border. Voters in the United Kingdom decided to leave the European Union in 2016.

Newsline: Qatar’s diplomat denies involvement in EU corruption case

Qatar reiterated on Sunday that the country denies any involvement in a corruption case being investigated by Belgian authorities involving people linked to the European Parliament. A statement on Sunday by a diplomat from Qatar’s mission to the European Union said “preconceived prejudices” led the parliament to vote on Thursday to suspend all work on legislation involving Qatar and to bar Qatari representatives from its premises. The suspension affects legislation linked to visa liberalisation, an EU-Qatar aviation agreement and planned visits until the allegations have been confirmed or dismissed. “The decision to impose such a discriminatory restriction…will negatively effect regional and global security cooperation, as well as ongoing discussions around global energy poverty and security,” the diplomat said. Belgian authorities have charged four people linked to the European Parliament over allegations World Cup host Qatar lavished them with cash and gifts to influence decision-making. Qatar has previously denied any wrongdoing. A spokesperson for the European Parliament declined to comment on the accusation.

Newsline: Mexican president slams U.S. ambassador to Peru

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador criticized a state of emergency imposed in Peru and slammed the U.S. ambassador to Lima. Lopez Obrador took aim at the U.S. ambassador to Peru, Lisa Kenna, for meeting President Dina Boluarte, who replaced Castillo. “Doesn’t it seem to you like a display of arrogance, a failure to respect how things are done?,” he asked reporters. Lopez Obrador later questioned whether the U.S. government was aware of what its officials were doing in Peru. “It may even be (U.S. Secretary of State Antony) Blinken of the State Department doesn’t know about it, and it was down to the embassy,” Lopez Obrador said. “Because that’s how they’ve always done it, especially in Latin America.” (https://neuters.de/world/americas/mexican-president-slams-perus-state-emergency-blasts-us-official-2022-12-16/) Unrest in Peru erupted after the ousting of leftist President Pedro Castillo, who was arrested last week after trying to dissolve the country’s Congress. Lopez Obrador, a fellow leftist, has called Castillo the rightful president of Peru, even as he insists his foreign policy is dictated by non-intervention in the affairs of other states.