Diplomatic Briefing

Your exclusive news aggregator handpicked daily!

Archive for January 24, 2023

Newsline: U.S. Embassy To Expedite Visa Processing For Indians

The U.S. diplomatic missions in India have launched a set of measures to reduce wait times for U.S-bound Indian visa applicants and expedite visa processing across the country. The U.S. embassy and its consulates have launched the first in a series of special interview days. The United States Embassy in New Delhi and Consulates in Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad have opened consular operations on Saturday to accommodate applicants who require in-person visa interviews. In the coming months, the Mission will continue to open additional slots for appointments to take place on select Saturdays, the Embassy said in a press release. (https://www.rttnews.com/3338909/u-s-embassy-to-expedite-visa-processing-for-indians-to-clear-backlog.aspx) The State Department has also implemented remote processing of interview waiver cases for applicants with previous U.S. visas. Between January and March 2023, dozens of temporary consular officers from Washington and other embassies will arrive in India to increase processing capacity.

Newsline: UK’s Labour foreign policy prioritizes reconnecting with Europe’

Britain’s opposition Labour Party will “reconnect” with the rest of Europe if it wins power, and aim to repair what it sees as the damage done by the governing Conservatives in the course of Brexit, its foreign policy chief said on Tuesday. With Labour commanding a hefty lead in opinion polls over the Conservatives, the party is presenting itself as a government in waiting, gradually setting out the agenda it wants to pursue if it wins a national election expected next year. Lammy said a Labour government would not want Britain to rejoin the European Union or its single market, but would try to restore trust with the bloc after years of damaging Brexit rows. “Reconnecting Britain to Europe, while remaining outside of the EU, will be a top priority of the next Labour Foreign Office,” Lammy told an audience at the Chatham House think tank. “With Labour, Britain will not rejoin the EU, the single market or the customs union. But within our red lines, there is real progress we can make to increase trade with our neighbours and deliver prosperity at home.” (https://neuters.de/world/uk/reconnecting-with-europe-uks-labour-sets-out-foreign-policy-priorities-2023-01-24/) Bank of England officials have said the effects of Brexit weighed on Britain’s economy, slowing trade in the country compared with the rest of the world.

Newsline: South Africa’s top diplomat defends planned military drills with Russia and China

South Africa’s foreign minister deflected criticism of joint military drills planned with Russia and China, saying that hosting such exercises with “friends” was the “natural course of relations.” (https://neuters.de/world/africa/russias-lavrov-visits-ally-south-africa-amid-western-rivalry-2023-01-23/) Naledi Pandor made her comments during a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who was visiting South Africa 11 months after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. A South African official, who declined to be identified because they were not authorised to speak, said Lavrov would afterwards visit Eswatini, Botswana and Angola. In Washington, the White House expressed worry about South Africa’s military plans.