Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for February 11, 2023

Newsline: Somalia reopens embassy in London after 32 years

Somalia has reopened its embassy in the UK after 32 years, in a ceremony attended by ambassador Abdulkadir Ahmed Kheyr, Olympic champion Mo Farah and Somali-Canadian model Sabrina Dhowre, among others. The embassy in London is expected to provide consular services to the nearly 500,000-strong diaspora community in the UK who are eligible for Somali citizenship, and other services including travel documentation and marriage certificates. Ambassador Kheyr said that reopening the embassy was a positive step in strengthening UK-Somali relations. (https://www.primenewsghana.com/world/somalia-reopens-uk-embassy-after-32-years.html) The Somali embassy in London was officially closed in 1991 following the collapse of the central government. However, diplomatic relations have strengthened in recent years.

Newsline: Israeli ambassador in Spain attacked

Israeli Ambassador to Spain Rodica Radian-Gordon was attacked by several dozen pro-Palestinian activists during a lecture at a university in Madrid. In a video that circulated on social media in Spain, the ambassador is seen being evacuated to a secure room by Israeli and local security guards while dozens of activists swarm around them. One of the security guards is seen to have pulled out his weapon and is pointing it in the direction of the protesters. The lecture resumed shortly after. A source in the Foreign Ministry stressed that this was a very violent and serious incident. (https://www.jpost.com/international/article-731269) According to the source, after the local police sent forces to the scene and evacuated the protesters, the ambassador’s lecture resumed. The source further stated that the same evening, Foreign Minister Eli Cohen called the ambassador in Madrid to strengthen her stance against the extreme anti-Israel protesters and praised the fact that she returned and continued the lecture and the event, despite the attempt to prevent it with violence.

Newsline: Spain’s top diplomat offers freed Nicaraguans citizenship

The Spanish government offered citizenship to more than 200 Nicaraguan political prisoners who were freed and flown to the United States on Thursday, Spain’s top diplomat said on Friday. Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares made the announcement to Servimedia news agency, following the surprise release of 222 Nicaraguan prisoners later expelled to the United States. After their release, lawmakers loyal to authoritarian President Daniel Ortega voted to strip them of their Nicaraguan citizenship, which could thwart plans to return home someday. But since it requires a constitutional change, a second vote is needed, likely not until 2024. In the interview, Albares hailed Ortega’s decision to free his jailed critics, many of them prominent opposition politicians, journalists and religious figures. He added that Spain stood ready to receive others, noting that Madrid’s decision had been made “after news reports that proceedings had begun to declare them stateless.” (https://neuters.de/world/europe/spain-offers-citizenship-222-freed-nicaraguan-political-prisoners-2023-02-10/) Spanish authorities will reach out to the prisoners, who were allowed into the United States under a temporary humanitarian visa, so they can formally apply for citizenship. Several opposition presidential candidates were among the released political prisoners, including several who sought to challenge Ortega in a 2021 election only to be arrested and detained in an unprecedented dragnet and criminalizing of political dissent. Most international observers declared the 2021 vote a sham.