Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for January 14, 2023

Newsline: France summons Iran’s envoy over execution of British-Iranian

The French Foreign Ministry summoned Iran’s charge d’affaires in Paris on Saturday over the execution of a British-Iranian national accused of spying, the ministry said in a statement, expressing its indignation about the case. Iran’s judiciary said earlier in the day that Alireza Akbari, a British-Iranian national who once served as Tehran’s deputy defence minister, had been executed, defying calls from London for his release. “He was also warned that Iran’s repeated violations of international law cannot go unanswered, particularly with regard to the treatment of foreign nationals whom it arbitrarily detains,” the French Foreign Ministry said. (https://uk.investing.com/news/world-news/french-foreign-minister-summons-irans-top-diplomat-over-execution-of-britishiranian-accused-of-spying-2881746) Like other Western powers, France has sought to increase pressure on Tehran in recent months and President Emmanuel Macron has criticised the crackdown by authorities on protesters and expressed support for women fighting for more rights.

Newsline: Turkey summons Swedish ambassador over Erdogan puppet

Turkey has summoned Sweden’s ambassador to Ankara following a demonstration in Stockholm in which a puppet of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was hung from its feet, a diplomatic source has said. Staffan Herrstrom, Sweden’s ambassador to Turkey, was summoned to the foreign ministry and Ankara’s reaction was conveyed to him, a Turkish diplomatic source said. “Our expectation that the perpetrators of the incident need to be identified, the necessary processes be carried out and Sweden uphold its promises was emphasised,” the source said. (https://www.msn.com/en-ae/news/world/turkey-summons-swedish-ambassador-over-erdogan-puppet/) Sweden applied to join Nato earlier last year and has been courting Turkey to back its bid for accession. Turkey said it would consider supporting Sweden’s application if it takes a clearer stance against what it sees as terrorists — mainly Kurdish militants and the organisation it blames for a 2016 coup attempt.

Newsline: China’s next ambassador to the US faces new challenges

When Qin Gang left his job this month as China’s ambassador to the United States to take up his new post as foreign minister in Beijing, he put a positive spin on his time in Washington, saying in a tweet last week how “deeply impressed” he was by many “hard-working, friendly and talented” Americans. A few days earlier, however, in an opinion piece in National Interest magazine, Qin warned that it was up to the US whether the world descended into global conflict. “The Chinese people are looking to the American people to make the right choice,” he added. (https://finance.yahoo.com/news/chinas-next-ambassador-us-confront-093000997.html) Even as Washington awaits Qin’s replacement – sources there and in Beijing say the lead candidate is foreign affairs vice-minister Xie Feng – inconsistent messaging by the former “wolf warrior” turned envoy underscores the complexity of US-China relations and the challenges China’s next ambassador faces.