Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for May 6, 2023

Newsline: Indonesia’s top diplomat pledges quiet diplomacy in Myanmar crisis

Indonesia has for months been quietly engaging key stakeholders in Myanmar’s conflict, as well as neighbours India, Thailand and China in an effort to kick-start a peace process as violence intensifies, its foreign minister said. Retno Marsudi told Reuters exclusively that Indonesia, as chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), had launched a quiet effort to make a breakthrough in the crisis, with its diplomats having held more than 60 “engagements” with all parties involved. Those included the junta, ethnic minority armies, and a pro-democracy shadow government, she said. Speaking later at a press conference, Retno said it was vital to secure the trust of all those involved. “Indonesia is using non-megaphone diplomacy, this aims to build trust with all stakeholders, so they want to talk to us,” she said. “Quiet diplomacy does not mean we did not do anything. In fact, for the past four months, Indonesia has done many things.” The Indonesian move is the first major effort to bring to the table all the key players in Myanmar’s conflict and push for the implementation of a peace “consensus” that its top general agreed with the bloc two years ago. “We tried to be as inclusive as possible,” Retno told Reuters. “Indonesia continues trying to play a bridging role to reduce a deep and sharp gap among the stakeholders.” (https://neuters.de/world/asia-pacific/indonesia-quietly-engaging-key-stakeholders-myanmar-crisis-foreign-minister-2023-05-05/) Representatives of the Myanmar junta and two armed ethnic groups did not respond to requests for comment.

Newsline: Iran expels four Azerbaijan diplomats

Iran has expelled four Azerbaijani diplomats a month after a similar move by Baku highlighted a deterioration of relations between the neighbours, the Iranian state news agency IRNA reported. IRNA did not give further details of the action, which came after Azerbaijan said in April that it was expelling four Iranian diplomats over “provocative actions”. (https://neuters.de/world/iran-expels-four-azerbaijan-diplomats-tit-for-tat-move-2023-05-05/) Tensions have been triggered in part by Baku’s improving relations with Tehran’s arch-enemy Israel. The dispute came to a head when Baku opened an embassy in Israel in late March. During the row, Azerbaijan suggested that Iran may have been connected to an attempted assassination of an anti-Tehran Azerbaijani lawmaker. Tehran has denied the accusation. Iran, which has a large population of ethnic Azeris in its northwest, has strongly criticised Azerbaijan for moving closer to Israel, with its foreign ministry saying it sees the relationship between Azerbaijan and Israel as “anti-Iranian”.