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Archive for Germany

Newsline: Brazil diplomat says Germany to announce investment in Amazon Fund

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will announce a fresh investment of 31 million euros ($33.7 million) in the multilateral Amazon Fund, a Brazilian diplomat said on Friday, ahead of the European leader’s official visit to Brasilia on Monday. (https://neuters.de/business/environment/scholz-announce-fresh-investment-amazon-fund-says-brazil-diplomat-2023-01-27/) The contribution will include 21 million euros to fight deforestation and 10 million euros to boost the Brazilian “bioeconomy,” ambassador Kenneth Nobrega told reporters.

Newsline: German embassy in Tehran seeks clarity on citizen’s arrest

Germany has taken note of the Iranian report and the embassy in Tehran is working to clarify the situation, a source in Berlin said. Iran has detained a German national for taking photos of “sensitive oil centres” in its southern province of Khuzestan, Iranian daily Jam-e Jam reported. “The German national was detained while taking photos of Aghajari oilfield in Khuzestan province,” the Jam-e Jam said, without elaborating. The Iranian judiciary had yet to comment on the report. (https://neuters.de/world/middle-east/iran-arrests-german-taking-photos-oil-centres-jam-e-jam-reports-2023-01-17/) Iran has been at odds with Western powers including Germany over what it calls their interference in its internal matters during months of anti-government protests sparked by the death in custody of an Iranian-Kurdish woman in September.

Newsline: Germany summons Iranian ambassador

Germany summoned Iran’s ambassador to the Foreign Ministry in Berlin for talks on Monday, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said. “I can confirm that the Iranian ambassador was summoned to a meeting at the Foreign Office today,” the spokesperson told a regular government news conference in Berlin. (https://neuters.de/world/germany-summons-iranian-ambassador-talks-berlin-2023-01-16/) Germany summoned Iran’s ambassador against the backdrop of German concerns about Tehran’s human rights record.

Newsline: German embassy in China gets COVID-19 vaccines for expatriates

A shipment of BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines for German nationals in China have arrived at the German embassy in Beijing, an embassy spokesperson told Reuters on Friday. “We can now happily confirm that the vaccines have arrived at the embassy and they will be stored here until we can officially start the vaccination drive which will be as soon as possible,” the spokesperson said. The vaccines, a batch of 11,500 doses of the German company’s vaccine, arrived late Thursday evening at the embassy, the spokesperson said. (https://neuters.de/world/china/biontech-vaccines-german-expatriates-china-have-arrived-german-embassy-2022-12-23/) The doses, which landed in China on Wednesday, are enough to give one shot each to half of the 20,000 or so German nationals residing in China.The vaccines will be sent to German companies and embassy and consulate locations. Talks are also underway with other European Union governments about getting them to citizens of other nationalities, a source familiar with the situation said. China would need to approve expanding access beyond the about 20,000 German nationals, the source said on Wednesday. China’s foreign ministry did not respond to a written Reuters query on Thursday on whether it would give approval for the BioNTech vaccines to be given to other foreign nationals or Chinese citizens.

Newsline: German diplomat becomes first EU envoy to acknowledge India’s position

The recently concluded G20 Bali summit is being hailed as one of the most successful congregations of regional heavyweights in recent times. The concluding declaration included in word and spirit Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s phrase “today’s era must not be of war” which is being hailed as one of the strongest messages of maintaining peace and harmony in the world. German Ambassador Dr Phillip Ackermann is one of the first diplomats from the European block to give his reactions of the G20 summit applauding India’s position at the three-day summit in Bali. Praising India’s contribution in the drafting of the declaration, Dr Ackermann in an exclusive interaction with Financial Express Online, New Delhi, said, “Without India, this statement would not have been possible. And that’s for us a very satisfying moment of this because the Indian side has accepted it and has supported the same as us. And that’s very, I think a very good sign”. (https://www.msn.com/en-in/news/other/germany-becomes-first-eu-country-to-acknowledge-india-s-position/ar-AA14gbrh) From December 1, India will officially assume the presidency of the G20 at one of the most complicated political and strategic developments in modern times.

Newsline: Uzbekistan summoned German ambassador

A German investigation into Russian-Uzbek billionaire businessman Alisher Usmanov, who is accused of money-laundering and tax evasion, has tested diplomatic relations between Germany and Uzbekistan, the Spiegel news magazine reported on Friday. (https://wsau.com/2022/11/18/uzbekistan-summoned-german-ambassador-over-oligarch-probe-spiegel/) A series of crisis talks have taken place between the countries’ diplomats, according to the report, including the summoning of the German ambassador in Tashkent. This followed searches carried out at properties registered to Usmanov on the shores of the Tegernsee lake in southern Germany on Sept. 21.The Uzbek ambassador to Berlin also appealed to the German Foreign Office for an appointment with the Federal Criminal Police Office, without success, the report said. According to Spiegel, investigators accuse Usmanov of withholding around 555 million euros in taxes from the German treasury between 2014 and 2022. His spokesperson has rejected the accusations against him as baseless and defamatory.

Newsline: German embassy complains to Egypt for too much surveillance of COP27

The German embassy in Cairo has lodged a complaint with the Egyptian government over the excessive surveillance of its participants at the World Climate Conference (COP27) being held in the Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh. According to the embassy, Egyptian security officials kept a close eye on some events held in the German pavilion, to the point of videotaping them. The German Embassy has called on the Egyptian authorities to cease this activity. (https://www.msn.com/en-in/news/techandscience/germany-complains-to-egypt-for-excessive-surveillance-of-cop27-participants/ar-AA143Ie9) In recent days, the German conference area has hosted events focusing on the human rights situation in Egypt. Among the participants were the directors of Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International, Tirana Hassan and Agnès Callamard, along with Egyptian activist Sanaa Saif, a filmmaker who has served prison sentences in Egypt. In a statement released before the start of the summit, HRW deplored the existence of cameras in cabs leading to the event, and the fact that the Egyptian government has forced all attendees to download an application that collects personal information and requires access to the camera, microphone and location service of the cell phone.

Newsline: UK embassy worker in Berlin pleads guilty to Russia spying charges

A British man who worked in the UK embassy in Berlin has pleaded guilty to eight offences under the Official Secrets Act related to passing on information useful to Russia. David Ballantyne Smith, who was living in Potsdam, Germany and was employed as a security guard at the embassy, was extradited to Britain from Germany following his arrest by German police in August 2021. The 58-year-old pleaded guilty to eight offences on Nov. 4. Judge Mark Wall lifted restrictions on reporting Smith’s pleas on Friday after the prosecution indicated it will not seek a trial on a ninth charge to which Smith pleaded not guilty. Smith appeared at the Old Bailey in London last week and pleaded guilty to one charge of passing information about British civil servants to General Major Sergey Chukhurov, described in the prosecution indictment as the Russian military attaché to Berlin, between October and December 2020. He also admitted seven other charges relating to collecting information which might be “useful to an enemy, namely the Russian state”, including material “relating to the operation and layout of the British embassy in Berlin”. (https://finance.yahoo.com/news/1-british-worker-uk-embassy-160708782.html) A hearing is expected to take place in February 2023 to determine the basis on which Smith will be sentenced.

Newsline: G7 top diplomats focus on Ukraine, China

Top diplomats from the Group of Seven nations on Friday focused on Ukrainian crisis and China’s increasing assertiveness. Foreign ministers from the G-7, wrapping up two days of talks in the historic western German city of Muenster, were set to release a statement asserting common positions on Ukraine, Russia, China and recent developments in Iran and North Korea, officials said. Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.K. and the United States comprise the G-7. A year after warning Russia about the consequences of invading Ukraine, the G-7 ministers were to endorse further punishments for the Kremlin and additional backing for Kyiv and countries affected by food and energy shortages that the war has exacerbated, the officials said. (https://news.yahoo.com/g7-ministers-rally-support-ukraine-111536517.html) The ministers called out Iran for allegedly supplying weapons to Russia and a brutal crackdown on antigovernment protesters. Their statement further condemned the recent escalation of tensions in Asia caused by North Korean military activity.

Newsline: G7 top diplomats to discuss Ukraine, China and Iran

Top diplomats from the Group of Seven nations – Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States – are meeting in the western German city of Munster to discuss issues relating to Ukraine, China and Iran. Senior U.S. officials traveling with Blinken said they expected the discussions on Thursday and Friday in Munster’s town hall — which local officials say was last used for an international diplomatic event in 1648 when the Treaty of Westphalia was signed ending the 30 Years War — to reaffirm G-7 “alignment and consistency” on Ukraine and a number of other issues. (https://news.yahoo.com/g7-foreign-ministers-set-grapple-220558577.html) Those include joint approaches to China, which has sided with Russia over Ukraine while also seeking to boost investments in critical and sensitive infrastructure in the West, and Iran, which in addition to crackdown on protesters is accused of supplying Russia with drones.