Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for May 2, 2023

Newsline: US marine embassy guards evacuate from Sudan

Although it was U.S. special operations forces — which reportedly included SEAL Team Six and the Army’s 3rd Special Forces Group — who ultimately conducted the April 23 evacuation of the embassy’s personnel, the Marine security guards played a key role in it, according to U.S. government officials. “Our Marines who protect many of our embassies overseas do not often get the credit they deserve,” Christopher Maier, the assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict, said in a State Department news briefing following the evacuation. “Their courage under duress represents America at its best, again, in this instance.” The evacuation came as warring factions trying to seize control of Sudan plunged the country into chaos, leaving at least 500 people dead. As security conditions worsened, including damage to the civilian airport and an attack on a U.S. diplomatic convoy in Khartoum, Sudan, the State Department concluded that “the only way we could do this safely for all of our diplomatic personnel was to rely on the capabilities of our military colleagues,” said Ambassador John Bass, State Department undersecretary for management. (https://news.yahoo.com/marine-embassy-guards-evacuate-sudan-104738731.html) The Marines got the official word of the planned evacuation within 48 hours of its taking place but they had known one was likely to happen since conflict broke out April 15. So they had a little more than a week to prepare. After flying out from the embassy, the Marines landed first at an airfield in Ethiopia, where they switched from helicopters to C-17 transport aircraft, according to Ferrari. They flew next to Djibouti, then to Germany and finally to the United States.

Newsline: Iran reopens diplomatic missions in Saudi Arabia

The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman has said that three Iranian diplomatic missions in Saudi Arabia have resumed operations. Nasser Kanaani made the remarks on Monday at a weekly press conference when asked to comment on the progress by Iran and Saudi Arabia to reopen their diplomatic missions following an agreement that was reached between the two countries in March on the normalisation of their bilateral ties, Xinhua news agency reported, citing a report by Mehr news agency. (https://in.investing.com/news/iranian-diplomatic-missions-resume-operations-in-saudi-arabia-3623447) The three diplomatic missions are Iran’s embassy in Riyadh, a consulate general in Jeddah and a representative office to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Jeddah, Kanaani was quoted as saying. Kanaani stressed that the two countries are in the early stages of resuming their bilateral relations and reopening their embassies, adding that Iran’s technical team is currently based in Saudi Arabia and laying the groundwork. He said he is optimistic that the two countries’ embassies will start their full operations as planned in accordance with their agreement.