Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for March 17, 2023

Newsline: Top Turkish diplomat to visit Egypt after decade-long tensions

Turkey’s foreign minister will travel to Cairo on Saturday in a further sign of thawing relations a decade after diplomatic links were cut by the overthrow of Egypt’s then president and Ankara’s ally Mohamed Mursi. The visit by Mevlut Cavusoglu will be the first time Turkey has sent its top diplomat there since Egypt’s army chief, now president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi led the ousting of Mursi in July 2013. “All aspects of our bilateral relations will be discussed, and views will be exchanged on regional and international issues,” Turkey’s foreign ministry said. The visit “inaugurates a path for restoring normal relationships between the two countries,” Egypt’s foreign ministry said in a simultaneous statement. The visit would launch a “deep dialogue” aiming to reach “a mutual understanding that achieves both countries’ interests,” the Egyptian ministry’s spokesperson added. (https://neuters.de/world/middle-east/top-turkish-diplomat-visit-egypt-after-decade-tension-2023-03-17/) It comes two weeks after Cavusoglu’s Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shourky, visited Turkey to show solidarity after the massive earthquakes that killed more than 50,000 people in Turkey and Syria. There have been signs of a growing rapprochement between Turkey and Egypt in recent months.

Newsline: Chinese top diplomat voices hopes Russia and Ukraine will hold peace talks

China is concerned about an escalation of the war in Ukraine and hopes Moscow and Kyiv will hold peace talks, senior Chinese diplomat Qin Gang told his Ukrainian counterpart on a phone call on Thursday. China has urged both sides to agree to a gradual de-escalation leading to a comprehensive ceasefire in its 12-point paper on the “political resolution of the Ukraine crisis”. The plan, which received a lukewarm welcome on both sides, called for the protection of civilians and respect for each other’s sovereignty. “China hopes that all parties will remain calm, rational and restrained, and resume peace talks as soon as possible,” Qin told Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, according to a Chinese foreign ministry statement. (https://neuters.de/world/europe/china-hopes-ukraine-russia-will-not-close-door-political-solution-senior-chinese-2023-03-16/) Qin added that China hopes Ukraine and Russia will not close the door to a political solution no matter how difficult and challenging the situation, the ministry said. Kuleba said he and Qin had discussed the “significance of the principle of territorial integrity” during the call. Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to visit Russian Vladimir Putin as soon as next week and hold a virtual meeting with Zelenskiy.

Newsline: U.S. envoy to travel to Honduras as it eyes China ties

A high-ranking envoy of President Joe Biden will travel to Panama and Honduras this month, the U.S. Department of State said on Thursday, days after Taiwan ally Honduras said it would establish formal diplomatic ties with China. Chris Dodd, the U.S. special presidential adviser for the Americas, will visit the two Central American countries from March 17 to March 21, the department said in a statement. (https://neuters.de/world/us/us-americas-envoy-travel-panama-honduras-coming-days-2023-03-16/) In recent years, the United States has focused on migration and security challenges stemming from Central America, as well as trade and development priorities, but it has also been concerned about Chinese efforts to expand its influence in the region.