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Archive for Germany

Newsline: China’s top diplomat urges Germany to work together

China’s top diplomat Wang Yi has signalled Beijing’s willingness to join hands with Berlin in the face of global uncertainties, in a meeting on Wednesday aimed at preparing the way for a widely expected visit to Germany by Premier Li Qiang. “China and Germany should work together to make the seventh China-Germany intergovernmental consultation a success, and send a positive signal to Europe and the world”, Wang told Jens Plotner, the German foreign and security policy adviser. According to the Chinese foreign ministry, Plotner said Germany is also “very much looking forward” to the consultation and will work with China to speed up the preparatory work. (https://finance.yahoo.com/news/wang-yi-boosts-china-germany-093000846.html) The pair also “exchanged views” on the war in Ukraine, the foreign ministry said. Germany was among the stops on Chinese special envoy Li Hui’s recent peace mission, which included visits to Ukraine, Russia, France, Poland and Brussels. There has been little evidence that Li’s visit turned around widely held suspicions in Europe about China’s close relations with Russia, which Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin have hailed as a “no limits” friendship. Before his meeting on Wednesday with Wang – the most senior diplomat in China’s party system – Plotner had talks with foreign minister Qin Gang, as part of the planning for Li Qiang’s visit to Berlin. Neither side has confirmed a date for the visit, but multiple meetings have been held to pave the way for one of Li’s first trips to a major developed economy since his promotion to premier in March.

Newsline: Germany to close three consulates in Russia by November

The German government made the decision to close by November its consulates general in the Russian cities of Yekaterinburg, Kaliningrad and Novosibirsk, after Moscow’s earlier decision to cap Germany’s diplomatic staff stationed in Russia at no more than 350 people, a German diplomat said on Wednesday. “Structural changes will be required,” German Foreign Ministry Spokesman Christopher Burger told a news briefing. “In order to follow Russia’s instructions regarding the cut in our personnel, the German government made a decision to close its Consulate General offices in Kaliningrad, Yekaterinburg and Novosibirsk.” “The operational work [of the offices] has already been significantly limited and they will be closed before November,” Burger said, adding that Moscow’s decision regarding the reduction in German diplomatic personnel in Russia was “a step toward escalation.” The diplomat noted that Moscow’s actions are forcing Berlin “to make very significant cuts in all areas of its presence in Russia.” According to him, the German government also made a decision to reduce the presence of German cultural institutions in Russia, including German schools and the Goethe Cultural Center (Goethe-Institut), to the bare minimum. (https://tass.com/world/1625953) Burger added that the German Embassy in Moscow and the Consulate General in St. Petersburg remained operational.

Newsline: Germany closes four out of five Russian consulates in tit-for-tat move

German government orders closure of four out of five Russian consulates in Germany in tit-for-tat move. (https://news.yahoo.com/german-government-orders-closure-four-111851040.html) Starting from June, Russia will slash the number of people that Germany can employ in its embassies or institutions in Russia in the education and cultural sectors. Several hundred people are affected, including officials from the embassy and consulate, but mostly employees of the Goethe cultural institute in the country, German schools, nurseries and teachers working in Russian schools.

Newsline: Russia summons Germany, Denmark, Sweden ambassadors

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said it had summoned the ambassadors of Germany, Sweden and Denmark to protest over what it said was the “complete lack of results” in an investigation to identify who blew up the Nord Stream gas pipelines last year. Several unexplained underwater explosions ruptured the Nord Stream 1 and newly built Nord Stream 2 pipelines that link Russia and Germany across the Baltic Sea in September 2022. The blasts occurred in the economic zones of Sweden and Denmark. Both countries say the explosions were deliberate, but have yet to determine who was responsible. The two countries as well as Germany are investigating the incident. Russia’s Foreign Ministry in a statement accused all three of deliberately dragging their feet and trying to conceal who was behind the blasts. It said it was unhappy about what it called the opaque nature of the investigation and its refusal to engage with Russia. “It has been noted that these countries are not interested in establishing the true circumstances of this sabotage. On the contrary, they are delaying their efforts and trying to conceal the tracks and the true perpetrators of the crime behind which we believe are well-known countries,” it said. (https://neuters.de/world/europe/russia-summons-germany-denmark-sweden-envoys-over-stalled-nord-stream-2023-05-25/) The Danish foreign ministry confirmed that its ambassador had been summoned, and said authorities in Denmark, Germany, and Sweden were continuing their investigations.

Newsline: Germany, Italy evacuate citizens from Sudan

The German military said a first military plane had landed in Khartoum as it started an evacuation operation for about 200 citizens from Sudan but added that the evacuation of them and nationals of other countries “would take some time”. (https://neuters.de/world/africa/foreign-states-evacuate-citizens-sudan-2023-04-23/) Italy said its nationals would be taken out of Sudan on Sunday night along with some people from Switzerland, Vatican City and other European countries. Italy’s foreign minister said some 140 Italians would be evacuated from Sudan, plus around 60 people from other countries.

Newsline: Russia expels more than 20 German diplomats

Russia is expelling more than 20 German diplomats, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told RIA Novosti news agency on Saturday, in a tit-for-tat move. (https://finance.yahoo.com/news/russia-expelling-more-20-german-131009822.html) “The German authorities took a decision on another mass expulsion of employees of Russian diplomatic missions in Germany. We strongly condemn these actions of Berlin, which continues to defiantly destroy the entire array of Russian-German relations,” the ministry said.

Newsline: Germany’s top diplomat calls parts of China trip ‘more than shocking’

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock described parts of her recent trip to China as “more than shocking” and said Beijing was increasingly becoming a systemic rival more than a trade partner and competitor. Baerbock had also said China wanted to follow its own rules at the expense of the international rules-based order. Beijing in turn asked Germany to support Taiwan’s “reunification” and said China and Germany were not adversaries but partners. Speaking to the German Bundestag (lower house of parliament) on Wednesday about her China trip, Baerbock said “some of it was really more than shocking”. (https://news.yahoo.com/germanys-foreign-minister-parts-china-125439362.html) She did not elaborate on specifics, although her remark came after she said China was becoming more repressive internally as well as aggressive externally. The blunt remarks followed Baerbock’s visit to Beijing last week where she warned that any attempt by China to control Taiwan would be unacceptable. Beijing claims democratically governed Taiwan as a Chinese province and has never ruled out the use of force to bring the island under its control.

Newsline: China’s top diplomat tells Germany to support peaceful Taiwan ‘reunification’

China’s top diplomat Wang Yi “hopes and believes” Germany will support China’s “peaceful reunification” with Taiwan, the Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement on Saturday. Wang made the remarks at a meeting with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, who is visiting China until Saturday, adding that China once supported Germany’s reunification. “To maintain stability in the Taiwan Strait, it is necessary to firmly oppose separatist activities related to ‘Taiwan independence’,” Wang said, adding that Taiwan’s “return to China” was an important component of the post-World War II international order. (https://neuters.de/world/china-hopes-germany-supports-peaceful-taiwan-reunification-foreign-ministry-2023-04-15/) On Friday, Baerbock said any attempt by China to control Taiwan would be unacceptable and would have serious repercussions for Europe. European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell echoed her remarks. Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Saturday it strongly approved of Baerbock’s comments.

Newsline: German top diplomat to voice united EU line on China

Europe must not turn a blind eye to the tensions between China and Taiwan because a military escalation in the region would be a “worst-case scenario” for the global economy, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on Thursday. Speaking during a visit to China, Baerbock struck a different tone to French President Emmanuel Macron, who warned the European Union last week not to get “caught up in crises that are not ours” with regard to Taiwan. “Germany and the European Union are economically vulnerable, which means that we cannot be indifferent to the tensions in the Taiwan Strait,” Baerbock said – in an audio file provided by her ministry – during a stopover in the Chinese port of Tianjin. (https://neuters.de/world/baerbock-warns-europe-against-turning-blind-eye-tensions-over-taiwan-2023-04-13/) Macron’s comments drew a backlash in the United States and Europe as they were widely perceived as taking a weak line on Taiwan and a gift to what analysts called Beijing’s goal of dismantling transatlantic unity. As a result, the stakes of Baerbock’s inaugural China trip have risen, with many EU members hoping Germany will use this opportunity to set out a clear and united EU line on China.

Newsline: Germany expels Chad’s ambassador

Berlin has ordered Chad’s ambassador to Germany to leave the country within 48 hours in response to a similar move by the Central African country last week, the foreign ministry said on Tuesday. “In response to the unfounded expulsion of our Ambassador to Chad, we today summoned the Chadian Ambassador in Berlin, Mariam Ali Moussa, and called on her to leave Germany within 48 hours. We regret that it had to come to this,” the ministry said in a tweet. “Ambassador Kricke exercised his office in N’Djamena in an exemplary manner & has worked for human rights & the rapid transition to a civilian government in Chad,” the German ministry said. (https://neuters.de/world/europe/germany-expels-chads-ambassador-tit-for-tat-move-2023-04-11/) Germany’s ambassador to Chad, Gordon Kricke, was expelled from the country last week. The Chadian Communications Ministry said that the decision was a result of “non-respect of diplomatic customs”. Two Chadian government sources said the expulsion was due to Kricke’s critical comments about delayed elections and a court decision allowing interim military leader Mahamat Idriss Deby to run for political office.