Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for February 28, 2023

Newsline: Serbia, Kosovo back EU diplomacy plan

The leaders of Serbia and Kosovo have given tacit approval to a European Union-sponsored plan to end months of political crises and help improve their ties longer-term, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said after chairing talks between them. Speaking alone at a news conference after a series of meetings in Brussels, Borrell told reporters that Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti “have agreed that no further discussions are needed for the European Union proposal.” (https://www.foxnews.com/world/serbia-kosovo-back-eu-diplomacy-plan) Both countries want to join the EU, which has told them that they first need to sort out their differences.

Newsline: Top Japan Diplomat to Skip G-20 Talks in India

Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi is unlikely to go to a meeting of G-20 foreign ministers in India from Wednesday due to a parliamentary committee meeting he is expected to attend, according to a government official. (https://news.yahoo.com/japan-top-diplomat-set-skip-032352872.html) It remains unclear whether Hayashi will be at a Friday meeting of the Quad nations, consisting of the US and Australia, alongside India, according to the official, who asked not to be identified in line with policy. The news was reported earlier by Japanese media, including the Nikkei newspaper. A deputy minister is likely to be dispatched in his place, the reports said.

Newsline: US top diplomat travels to Central Asia

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Central Asia Tuesday to meet officials from all five former Soviet republics following the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Blinken’s visit to the capitals of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan is his first to the region as the Biden administration’s top diplomat. (https://neuters.de/world/blinken-hold-talks-with-central-asian-nations-wake-ukraine-anniversary-2023-02-28/) Leaders in the region have been emboldened to stand up to Russia by their new-found leverage as Moscow looks to their markets and trade routes in a bid to circumvent Western sanctions. Blinken will meet the foreign ministers of all five Central Asian states in Astana on Tuesday before traveling on to Tashkent, Uzbekistan. U.S. officials say the Biden administration has stepped up engagement with the region in an effort to demonstrate the benefits of U.S. cooperation to countries facing economic fallout from the conflict to the west.