Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for March 14, 2023

Newsline: U.S. summons Russian ambassador over drone downing

The United States will on Tuesday afternoon summon Russia’s ambassador to Washington after a Russian Su-27 fighter jet downed a U.S. military drone over the Black Sea, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said. (https://neuters.de/world/us-summon-russian-ambassador-over-downing-drone-over-black-sea-state-dept-2023-03-14/) The U.S. ambassador to Moscow has conveyed a strong message to Russia’s foreign affairs ministry and U.S. officials had briefed allies and partners over the incident, Price told reporters on a phone briefing.

Newsline: Libya to Reopen Iranian Embassy in Tripoli

The Libyan Foreign and International Cooperation Ministry of Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah’s interim Government of National Unity (GNU) announced that efforts are underway to resume the work of the Iranian embassy in the capital, Tripoli. Foreign and International Cooperation Minister Najla Al-Mangoush met with Iran’s ambassador to Libya, Mohamed Reza, to discuss ways to strengthen bilateral relations. On its Facebook page, the Ministry wrote that Al-Mangoush tackled with Reza the activation of the joint economic committee between their countries and arrangements for the reopening of the Iranian embassy in Tripoli. Al-Magnoush said Libya welcomes the reestablishment of relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran, saying the agreement they reached last week will be significant for the stability of the region. (https://english.aawsat.com/home/article/4209336/libya-announces-arrangements-reopen-iranian-embassy-tripoli) The Iranian embassy in Tripoli closed its doors in 2011. In February 2015, the residence of the Iranian ambassador was attacked by a car bomb.

Newsline: Diplomats from 200 nations meet in Switzerland to discuss Climate Change’s report

Diplomats from nearly 200 nations and top climate scientists began a week-long huddle in Switzerland on Monday to distil nearly a decade of published science into a 20-odd-page warning about the existential danger of global warming and what to do about it. The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s synthesis report — to be released on March 20 — will detail observed and projected changes in Earth’s climate system; past and future impacts such as devastating heatwaves, flooding and rising seas; and ways to halt the carbon pollution pushing Earth toward an unliveable state. “It’s a massive moment, seven years since the Paris Agreement and nine years since the last IPCC assessment report,” Greenpeace Nordic senior policy advisor Kaisa Kosonen, an official observer at IPCC meetings, told AFP. (https://news.yahoo.com/governments-vet-crucial-un-climate-105326400.html) Since its creation in 1988, the IPCC — an intergovernmental body staffed by hundreds of scientists who work for it on a volunteer basis — has released six three-part assessments, the most recent in 2021-2022.

Newsline: Middle East eyes strategic diplomatic pivot to China

For a sign of the new business times, look no further than China’s success in brokering a pledge between Saudi Arabia and Iran to restore diplomatic ties. It’s a huge political win for Beijing. Xi Jinping has brokered a deal the United States would have found hard to secure, despite its traditional military influence in the Middle East. China’s president did so on the same day he officially secured a third term, and in the same week the People’s Republic paved the way for a $2.9 billion International Monetary Fund bailout for Sri Lanka by committing to reorganise the island’s debt. Both developments are constructive for global stability and suggest China can be a responsible big power. (https://neuters.de/breakingviews/middle-east-pivot-asia-is-strategic-this-time-2023-03-14/) This time, the interest appears more mutual and more strategic. Some policymakers think the world is splitting into two blocks, with the United States and Europe on one side, and a China-led Asia and Russia on the other. The reality is more complicated, but Asia’s growing hunger for energy means it has an incentive to get closer in more ways to Gulf petrodollar economies which have traditionally looked west for security, a place to sell their oil and gas, and to park their money.