Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for May 21, 2023

Newsline: Qatari embassy in Sudan attacked

Air strikes and artillery exchanges shook the Sudanese capital Saturday and armed men ransacked the Qatari embassy as the country’s warring generals kept up their struggle for control even as they agreed to a brief humanitarian pause. With heavy fighting raging in Khartoum, the rival sides struck a deal on a seven-day ceasefire beginning the evening of May 22, the United States and Saudi Arabia said Saturday in a joint statement after talks in Jeddah. The ceasefire “shall remain in effect for seven days and may be extended with the agreement of both parties,” it said. Multiple announced truces have been violated since fighting broke out five weeks ago, which the Saudi foreign ministry acknowledged in a statement published by the official Saudi Press Agency early Sunday. “Unlike previous ceasefires, the Agreement reached in Jeddah was signed by the parties and will be supported by a US-Saudi and international-supported ceasefire monitoring mechanism,” it said. (https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/air-strikes-shake-khartoum-qatar-embassy-attacked/ar-AA1brq5o) The power struggle between regular army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his former deputy turned rival Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who heads the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), erupted into fighting on April 15. The conflict has killed hundreds of people, most of them civilians, and displaced more than one million.

Newsline: Iran summons Switzerland’s ambassador

Iran’s foreign ministry has summoned Switzerland’s envoy in Tehran for a social media post showing Iranian protest icon Mahsa Amini, local reports said on Sunday. A website affiliated with Iran’s state television called YJC.ir reported that the Swiss ambassador, Nadine Lozano, was summoned after a Twitter account affiliated with the embassy in Tehran published a photo featuring Amini. (https://news.yahoo.com/iranian-media-says-tehran-summons-142725962.html) The Twitter account linked with the Swiss embassy in Tehran also posted an image of Iran’s pre-revolutionary flag before its current theocracy came to power. The post added that the Swiss foreign ministry strongly condemned the recent execution of three Iranian protesters. Months of anti-government protests were sparked by the death of 22-year-old Amini in September, after Iranian morality police detained her for allegedly violating the country’s strict Islamic dress code.

Newsline: Russian court extends detention of former US Consulate worker

Russia issued a three-month extension to the detention of a former U.S. Consulate employee in Vladivostok, a city on the southeastern coast of Russia, after the State Department condemned the arrest earlier this week. A Russian court handed down the extension of Robert Shonov’s detention. Shonov, a Russian national, was arrested in Vladivostok and charged with “collaboration on a confidential basis with a foreign state or international or foreign organization,” according to Russian state-run news agency TASS. (https://news.yahoo.com/russian-court-extends-detention-former-174403088.html) Shonov worked for the U.S. Consulate General in the city for more than 25 years. The State Department said that after Russia ordered in 2021 that all local staff to the U.S. Mission be terminated, Shonov was employed by a private company that provided services to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, saying it was in “strict compliance with Russia’s laws and regulations.”