Diplomatic Briefing

Your exclusive news aggregator handpicked daily!

Archive for May 13, 2023

Newsline: Saudi Diplomats Say Sudan Talks to Resume Sunday

Saudi diplomats said Sudan’s warring sides were respecting an agreement to protect civilians ahead of ceasefire talks due to resume in Saudi Arabia on Sunday. Saudi Arabia has invited army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan to the Arab League summit in Jeddah, a senior Saudi diplomat said, but he is not expected to leave Sudan for security reasons, diplomats in the Gulf said. (https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2023-05-13/senior-saudi-diplomat-sudans-warring-parties-to-resume-talks-on-sunday) Burhan was invited because he is head of Sudan’s Sovereign Council, in which his rival, RSF chief Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hemedti, is deputy. Saudi Arabia has had close ties to both men since the army and the RSF sent troops to help the Saudi-led coalition in its war against Houthi forces in Yemen.

Newsline: Size of $1.2b US embassy in Lebanon questioned

New aerial images of the United States embassy in Lebanon reignited a debate among social media users who questioned the reason behind its enormous size and expensive cost. The new U.S. embassy in Beirut, which is still under construction at the cost of $1.2 billion, is being built on a 43-acre space. It will be the world’s second-biggest U.S. embassy following the one in Baghdad, Iraq, which falls on 104 acres. The U.S. embassy in Beirut will take over the second rank filled previously by the one in Yerevan, Armenia, which was built on a 22-acre site. The U.S. embassy in Lebanon said in a statement that the new embassy compound is under the care of the Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) who have a dedicated team based in Beirut with Morphosis Architects of Culver City, California, as the architect for the project, and B.L. Harbert International of Birmingham, Alabama as the construction contractor. (https://www.msn.com/en-ae/news/featured/size-of-dollar12b-us-embassy-in-lebanon-questioned/) Many Lebanese questioned the huge size of the U.S. embassy in such a small country which was torned by COVID-19, Beirut’s port blast and the absence of a government as well as a president since the end of Micheal Aoun’s term in October 2022. Some people linked the massive size of the new embassy to the alleged “growing role played by the U.S. in Lebanese politics,” particularly as the different sides of Lebanese politics had repeatedly exchanged accusations of affiliation to foreign parties, including the U.S. and Iran.