Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for February 13, 2023

Newsline: U.S. ambassador to U.N. U.S. urges vote to approve more aid access to Syria via Turkey

The United States called for the United Nations Security Council to “vote immediately” to authorize the delivery of U.N. aid to rebel-held northwest Syria through more border crossings from Turkey after last week’s deadly earthquake. “Right now, every hour matters,” Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., said in a statement to Reuters. “People in the affected areas are counting on us.” “We cannot let them down – we must vote immediately on a resolution to heed the U.N.’s call for authorization of additional border crossings for the delivery of humanitarian assistance,” she said. (https://neuters.de/world/us-urges-un-vote-approve-more-aid-access-syria-via-turkey-2023-02-12/) U.N. aid chief Martin Griffiths, who is in Turkey and is due to visit Syria, told Sky News on Saturday that he would ask the Security Council to authorize aid access through two more border crossings, arguing there is “a very clear humanitarian case.” Since 2014 the U.N. has been able to deliver aid to millions of people in need in the northwest part of war-torn Syria through Turkey under a Security Council mandate. But it is currently restricted to using just one border crossing.

Newsline: U.S. embassy tells citizens to leave Russia immediately

The United States has told its citizens to leave Russia immediately due to the war in Ukraine and the risk of arbitrary arrest or harassment by Russian law enforcement agencies. “U.S. citizens residing or travelling in Russia should depart immediately,” the U.S. embassy in Moscow said. “Exercise increased caution due to the risk of wrongful detentions.” “Do not travel to Russia,” the embassy said. “Russian security services have arrested U.S. citizens on spurious charges, singled out U.S. citizens in Russia for detention and harassment, denied them fair and transparent treatment, and convicted them in secret trials or without presenting credible evidence,” the embassy said. “Russian authorities arbitrarily enforce local laws against U.S. citizen religious workers and have opened questionable criminal investigations against U.S. citizens engaged in religious activity.” (https://neuters.de/world/us/united-states-tells-citizens-depart-russia-immediately-2023-02-13/) Russia opened a criminal case against a United States citizen on suspicion of espionage in January.

Newsline: China’s top diplomat to attend Munich Security Conference

China’s top diplomat Wang Yi will attend the Munich Security Conference this month and plans to visit several countries including Russia, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Monday. Wang, director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, will also visit France, Italy and Hungary this month, spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a regular press briefing. (https://neuters.de/world/chinas-top-diplomat-attend-munich-security-conference-visit-russia-2023-02-13/) The 59th Munich Security Conference will be held over Feb. 17-19, with several global leaders attending, including U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris.