Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for February 5, 2023

Newsline: Saudi Arabia said to close embassy in Kabul

Some unconfirmed news suggest that Saudi Arabia has closed down its embassy in Kabul and evacuated 19 members of its diplomatic mission in the city. “According to reports of Afghan journalists, Saudi Arabia has closed down its embassy in Kabul, and has evacuated 19 of its staff,” Afghan Journalist Saeedullah Safi tweeted late Saturday. (https://en.mehrnews.com/news/197044/Saudi-Arabia-reportedly-closes-its-embassy-in-Kabul) Official Saudi sources have not confirmed the news yet. Ealier in August 2021, Saudi Arabia had evacuated members of its diplomatic mission in Kabul due to the unstable conditions in Afghanistan.

Newsline: Former foreign minister and career diplomat hold lead in Cyprus presidential vote

Former foreign minister Nikos Christodoulides held a lead in Cyprus presidential elections on Sunday, early results showed. (https://neuters.de/world/middle-east/former-foreign-minister-holds-lead-cyprus-vote-runoff-feb-12-2023-02-05/) With 27% of the island-wide vote counted, independent candidate Christodoulides was polling 33.1%, while career diplomat Andreas Mavroyiannis, backed by left-wing AKEL, was drawing 28% of the vote.

Newsline: Pakistan’s embassy in Abu Dhabi confirms that former president died on Sunday

Pakistani former President Pervez Musharraf died on Sunday following a prolonged illness at a hospital in Dubai, after years in self-imposed exile. “I can confirm that he passed away this morning,” Shazia Siraj, spokesperson for Pakistan’s embassy in Abu Dhabi and consulate in Dubai, told Reuters. (https://news.yahoo.com/pakistan-former-president-pervez-musharraf-061451098.html) Pakistan’s military and the country’s mission in the United Arab Emirates announced the death of the former army chief, 79, who was pushed from power in 2008. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, President Arif Alvi and the chiefs of Pakistan’s army, navy and air force each expressed condolences on his death. A special flight will be made to Dubai on Monday to bring Musharraf’s body back to Pakistan for burial, local TV channel Geo News reported.

Newsline: European diplomats block EU’s new ambassador’s plans to live on Millionaires’ Row in London

EU diplomats have “shot down” plans for the EU’s newly appointed ambassador to Britain to rent a luxurious London residence on Chelsea’s “Millionaires’ Row”. Europe’s diplomatic service was planning to lease a large and lavish property on Upper Cheyne Row for Pedro Serrano de Haro, the new envoy, formerly chief of staff to Josep Borrell, the EU’s foreign policy chief and a fellow Spaniard. The four-storey townhouse runs to 645 sq m and has five bedrooms, a roof terrace, two patios and a driveway. The rent would have been more than €1 million (£900,000) a year. Diplomats from member states reacted with fury at cost of the proposed residence. (https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/european-ambassador-eyes-home-on-londons-millionaires-row-rbj25phg5) Serrano de Haro, 62, is married but his two daughters have left home so the palatial residence would have been occupied by only himself and his wife.