Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for March 11, 2023

Newsline: Mexico’s top diplomat lashes out at U.S. interventionism

Mexico’s top diplomat on Friday criticized comments by former U.S. Attorney General William Barr, who had called for increased U.S. involvement in Mexico to tackle drug cartels, saying Mexico “will never allow its sovereignty to be violated.” Following an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal by Barr last week, Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard penned his own response in the newspaper, stressing joint cooperation over U.S. military involvement in Mexico. Barr’s opinion piece compared Mexico’s “narco-terrorist” cartels to the jihadist Islamic State and backed a Republican proposal to give the U.S. president the power to send the military to fight against the cartels. “The voracious demand for drugs in the U.S., along with the widespread availability of military-style weapons there, largely explains the cartels’ power to wreak havoc,” Ebrard shot back. (https://neuters.de/world/americas/mexicos-top-diplomat-stresses-cooperation-with-us-versus-intervention-2023-03-11/) In recent days, calls for U.S. intervention in Mexico have ramped up after two Americans were killed and two others kidnapped in the Mexican border state of Tamaulipas, presumably by a drug cartel.

Newsline: Tunisia to appoint ambassador in Syria

Tunisian President Kais Saied said he wants to see Tunisia and Syria appoint ambassadors to their countries, the latest sign that full restoration of diplomatic relations with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government could be imminent. “A decision must be taken on this issue.”, Saied told foreign minister Nabil Ammar during a meeting, according to a video posted on Facebook by the president’s office. (https://neuters.de/world/africa/tunisian-president-says-he-wants-ambassador-syria-state-video-2023-03-10/) Tunisia cut off diplomatic relations with Syria nearly a decade ago to protest Assad’s brutal crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations in 2011 that developed into civil war in which hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed and millions sent fleeing. Since Saied took control of almost all powers in July 2021 in what his political opponents have described as a coup, Tunisia has sent signals it was open to changing its diplomatic stance with Syria. Tunisia reinstituted a limited diplomatic mission to Syria in 2017, in part to help track more than 3,000 Tunisian militants fighting in Syria.

Newsline: Chile’s former EU ambassador becomes foreign minister

Chile’s President Gabriel Boric, who has been struggling with low approval ratings since taking office a year ago, announced a major cabinet reshuffle on Friday, including the foreign minister. (https://neuters.de/world/americas/chiles-boric-swaps-out-foreign-minister-amid-cabinet-reshuffle-2023-03-10/) Alberto van Klaveren, who was Chile’s ambassador to the European Union from 2001 to 2006 and served as undersecretary of foreign affairs from 2006 to 2009 under former President Michelle Bachelet, will replace Antonia Urrejola as minister of foreign affairs.