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Newsline: Oman’s Indian embassy Twitter account compromised to promote scam

The hackers behind the attack may have been responsible for breaching India-based crypto exchange CoinDCX’s Twitter account given the similar fake XRP giveaways. Scammers have hacked the official Twitter account of the Embassy of Oman in India, replacing the profile picture with Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse and using the reply function to spam users with fake XRP giveaway phishing links. At the time of publication, the Twitter account OmanEmbassy_Ind showed several retweets matching those of Garlinghouse, seemingly in an attempt to make the activity look legitimate. The hacked account has been responding to tweets using the hashtag XRP, encouraging users to sign up for a fake giveaway of 100 million tokens — worth more than $42 million at an XRP price of $0.42. (https://cointelegraph.com/news/oman-s-indian-embassy-twitter-account-compromised-to-promote-xrp-scam) Many hackers have used social media to attempt to scam unsuspecting users out of both crypto and fiat since the platforms were created. Using high-profile figures in the crypto space — like Garlinghouse, Elon Musk, and others — is a common tactic. In June, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission reported that scammers had pilfered roughly $1 billion in crypto from 2021 to the first quarter of 2022, with half of all crypto-related scams originating from social media platforms.

Newsline: Indian PM hailed at UNGA for saying this is not time for war

French President Emmanuel Macron told world leaders at the UN General Assembly session that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was right when he told Russian President Vladimir Putin that this is not the time for war. Modi, who met Putin last week on the sidelines of the 22nd meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Uzbekistan’s Samarkand, had told the Russian leader that “today’s era is not of war”. He has spoken to Putin several times over the phone regarding this issue and underlined the importance of democracy, diplomacy and dialogue. “Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India was right when he said the time is not for war. It is not for revenge against the West or for opposing the West against the East. It is the collective time for our sovereign equal states to cope together with challenges we face,” Macron said during his address at the General Debate of the 77th Session of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday. (https://www.msn.com/en-in/news/other/pm-modi-was-right-when-he-said-this-is-not-time-for-war-french-president-emmanuel-macron-at-unga/ar-AA123Buk) At the UNGA session on Tuesday, Macron expressed hope the international community can commit to the reform of the UN Security Council.

Newsline: Indian diplomacy seen as showing ace performance at Samarkand

The 22nd summit of the eight-nation Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) took place in Uzbekistan’s capital Samarkand, last week. In his address at the summit, Modi obdurately touched every relevant aspect of the current geo-political situation. In a speech that was otherwise free from references to India’s regional issues on terrorism with Pakistan and on territorial sovereignty with China, Modi called for greater cooperation in the Eurasian region. He also focused on initiatives on manufacturing that India is willing to pilot in the next year, when India assumes the chair of the SCO and hosts the Summit in mid-2023. The most important meeting from India’s standpoint was a possible meeting between Prime Minister Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping. In fact, Samarkand offered the perfect opportunity for two leaders to reset the ties. But there seemed little willingness from the two sides, to compromise. Modi and Xi have met twice earlier but that is not enough to read each other’s thoughts and also make a convincing and principled case, though both the countries stand to gain much economically, if ties are improved. Modi’s bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the summit also received a lot of attention. The two leaders shared the customary diplomatic greetings, with Modi specifically emphasising that the modern era was not a time of war. According to reports, Putin acknowledged India’s position on the Ukrainian conflict and reaffirmed his commitment to a speedy resolution. India and Chinese leaders expressing their concerns directly with the Russian leader about the war in Ukraine is reflective of global concerns. The manner in which Modi and his diplomatic team carried the business at Samarkand shows the maturity and coming of age of the Indian diplomacy under the Prime Minister. (https://in.investing.com/news/indian-diplomacys-ace-performance-at-samarkand-3348159) India will be hosting the next SCO Summit in 2023, and this will offer Modi an opportunity to develop the organisation into a more meaningful and cohesive organisation.

Newsline: India and France Calls for Diplomacy to End Conflict in Ukraine

India and France reiterated calls for negotiation to end the conflict in Ukraine. (https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2022-09-14/india-and-france-reiterate-calls-for-negotiations-to-end-conflict-in-ukraine) “There should be a return to dialogue and diplomacy,” India’s foreign minister, S. Jaishankar, told reporters after a meeting with his French counterpart Catherine Colonna.

Newsline: India lashes out at Chinese Ambassador’s views on Sri Lanka

In response to the remarks of Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Qi Zhenhong, the Indian High Commission in Colombo said on Saturday that his views were a violation of basic diplomatic etiquette and maybe a personal trait or reflecting a larger national attitude. The Indian High Commission also said that Qi’s view of Sri Lanka’s northern neighbour may be coloured by how his own country behaves. The High Commission, which made a series of tweets, also referred to Qi’s remarks on the visit of a Chinese spy vessel to Hambantota port in Sri Lanka and said his imputing a geopolitical context to the visit of a purported scientific research vessel is a giveaway. “We have noted the remarks of the Chinese Ambassador. His violation of basic diplomatic etiquette may be a personal trait or reflecting a larger national attitude. His view of Sri Lanka’s northern neighbour may be coloured by how his own country behaves. India, we assure him,is very different. His imputing a geopolitical context to the visit of a purported scientific research vessel is a giveaway,” the Indian High Commission said. (https://www.msn.com/en-in/news/world/india-lashes-out-at-chinese-ambassador-s-views-on-india-sri-lanka-relations/ar-AA11b71g) The High Commission also referred to reports of China’s debt-trap diplomacy and said “opaqueness and debt-driven agendas are now a major challenge specially for smaller nations”. It said Sri Lanka, which is facing an unprecedented economic crisis, needs support, not unwanted pressure or unnecessary controversies to serve another country’s agenda.

Newsline: India votes against Russia in UNSC on Ukraine for first time

India for the first time voted against Russia during a “procedural vote” at the United Nations Security Council on Ukraine, as the 15-member powerful UN body invited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to address a meeting through a video tele-conference. So far, New Delhi has abstained at the UN Security Council on Ukraine, much to the annoyance of the Western powers led by the United States. India currently is a non-permanent member of the UNSC for a two-year term, which ends in December. On Wednesday, the UNSC held a meeting to take stock of the now six-month-old conflict on the 31st anniversary of Ukraine’s independence. As the meeting began, Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vassily A Nebenzia requested a procedural vote concerning Ukrainian President’s participation in the meeting by video tele-conference. Following statements by him and Ferit Hoxha of Albania, the Council extended an invitation to Zelensky to participate in the meeting via video tele-conference by a vote of 13 in favour to one against. Russia voted against such an invitation, while China abstained. This is for the first time that India has voted against Russia on the issue of Ukraine, after the Russian military action began in February. (https://www.msn.com/en-in/news/other/for-first-time-india-votes-against-russia-in-unsc-during-procedural-vote-on-ukraine/ar-AA114IIf) New Delhi has repeatedly called upon the Russian and Ukrainian sides to return to the path of diplomacy and dialogue, and also expressed its support for all diplomatic efforts to end the conflict between the two countries.

Newsline: Indian embassy newly re-opened in Kabul to expand activities

According to TOLO news, Abdul Qahar Balkhi, the spokesperson for the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said on Twitter that the recently “re-opened” Indian embassy in Kabul is anticipated to expand activities. “The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan appreciates this step of India, which wants to increase the level of diplomatic representation of its embassy in Kabul,” said Abdul Qahar Balkhi in a Tweet. (https://www.msn.com/en-in/news/world/indian-embassy-newly-re-opened-in-kabul-karzai-urged-ambassador-not-to-leave/ar-AA10PpTu) Local workers provided consular services in the Indian Embassy in Kabul, according to local media sources, and it was never shuttered. The “technical team,” which has been stationed there since June and focuses on commercial and trade opportunities as well as the provision of food and medical supplies, will expand the Embassy’s operations. Another Indian team recently went to Kabul to supervise the distribution of our humanitarian aid to Afghanistan and met with Taliban leaders. An evaluation of the security situation was also done during the visit.

Newsline: India’s diplomacy in Russia-Ukraine conflict seen as neutralist

India’s decision to send additional humanitarian assistance to Ukraine this week reaffirms its neutral approach to the seven-month-old conflict, despite the widely-held view in the West about its pro-Russian bias. India is among the few democracies in the world that have consistently abstained from resolutions in the UN Security Council, General Assembly and the Human Rights Council that condemned Russia for the invasion of Ukraine. Yet, the first batch of Indian humanitarian assistance was rushed to Ukraine within weeks of the war. (https://www.msn.com/en-in/money/topstories/india-holds-the-middle-ground-in-russia-ukraine-conflict/ar-AA10xItt) Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoken to both the Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky several times to urge for the immediate cessation of hostilities and return to the “path of diplomacy and dialogue” to resolve the conflict.

Newsline: Sri Lanka’s foreign ministry asks China to postpone ship visit after India protests

Sri Lanka says it has asked China to defer a planned visit of a Chinese ship to the island country after initially approving its arrival this week, yielding to diplomatic pressure from neighbour India to keep the military vessel out. Sri Lanka’s foreign ministry said on July 12 it had approved the ship’s arrival for this month. “Subsequently in light of the need for further consultations, the ministry has communicated to the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Colombo to defer the visit of the said vessel to the Hambantota port,” the ministry said in a statement on Monday. (https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/8/9/sri-lanka-asks-china-to-postpone-ship-visit-after-india-protests) Asked about the controversy over the ship, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a regular news briefing that China’s relations with Sri Lanka were “not targeted at third parties”. Wenbin told reporters it is “completely unjustified for certain countries to cite the so-called ‘security concerns’ to pressure Sri Lanka”. The Yuan Wang 5 was due to arrive on Thursday at the Chinese-built and leased Hambantota port in Sri Lanka’s south for five days for replenishment. It is currently sailing in the east Indian Ocean, according to Refinitiv Eikon. Foreign security analysts describe the Yuan Wang 5 as one of China’s latest generation space-tracking ships, used to monitor satellite, rocket and intercontinental ballistic missile launches. The Pentagon says Yuan Wang ships are operated by the Strategic Support Force of the People’s Liberation Army. India said late last month it was monitoring the planned visit of the ship, adding that New Delhi would protect its security and economic interests. India also lodged a verbal protest with the Sri Lankan government. New Delhi fears its bigger and more powerful rival China will use Hambantota as a military base in India’s back yard. The $1.5bn port is near the main shipping route from Asia to Europe.

Newsline: China’s envoy on Afghanistan meets Indian counterpart

China’s special envoy on Afghan affairs Yue Xiaoyong made a low-key visit to New Delhi. During his visit, China’s special envoy held talks on Afghanistan matters with Joint Secretary JP Singh, who handles the Afghanistan division at the Ministry of External Affairs. This was the first such senior-level meeting between India and China after the Taliban took over Afghanistan in August last year. (https://www.hindustantimes.com/videos/news/chinas-afghan-affairs-envoy-meets-indian-diplomat-handling-afghanistan-101659759631623.html) Both Xiaoyong and Singh agreed to encourage engagement, enhance dialogue for Afghan peace and stability.