Diplomatic Briefing

Your exclusive news aggregator handpicked daily!

Archive for Italy

Newsline: Russia summons Italy’s ambassador to Moscow

The Russian foreign ministry said Friday that it had summoned the Italian Ambassador in Moscow Giorgio Starace. The ministry said it expressed its “astonishment” to the ambassador about the “recent cancellation of cultural events of Russian artists in Italy”. (https://www.ansa.it/english/news/world/2023/02/17/russia-summons-italys-ambassador-to-moscow_12f01386-eb99-4737-9b18-abbb1ae078e5.html) It also said that it had informed Starace of Moscow’s “assessments” of the Western line of provoking an escalation of the Ukrainian conflict.

Newsline: Italy’s top diplomat says Bolsonaro did not seek Italian citizenship

Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has not requested Italian citizenship and probably would not get it even if he applied, Italy’s top diplomat said. Bolsonaro flew to the United States at the end of last year, 48 hours before his term ended. He is under investigation in at least four criminal probes back home and Brazilian media have reported that he was seeking Italian citizenship. But Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani denied this. “He hasn’t asked for it and I don’t believe he can have it, as far as I’m concerned,” Tajani told Italian radio. (https://news.yahoo.com/bolsonaro-did-not-seek-italian-115715454.html) Under Italian law, people can claim nationality if they can prove they had Italian ancestors, without any generational limits. But criminal records are taken into consideration when applications are filed. Bolsonaro’s great-grandfather was born in Anguillara in north-east Italy, making the ex-Brazilian president and his children eligible for citizenship. Italy’s Foreign Ministry has confirmed that two of Bolsonaro’s four sons, Edoardo and Flavio, had requested citizenship in 2020. Their request is still being processed. Italian consulates in countries where applications are presented deal with the request and are expected to process the paperwork within 24 months. However, a diplomatic source said Italy’s consulates in Brazil had been inundated with applications, meaning it would likely take years before hopefuls received an Italian passport.

Newsline: Italy summons Iran’s new ambassador

Italy’s foreign minister has summoned Iran’s new ambassador to Rome to express his country’s concerns over the Iranian authorities’ crackdown on anti-government protests that have been under way for more than three months. Conveying Italy’s “indignation and worry” over the crackdown, Italian foreign minister Antonio Tajani said he hopes that Iran will respond “positively to Italy’s request”. The deadly crackdown, he said “has nothing to do with protecting the national security of the country”. (https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/12/28/italy-summons-irans-envoy-to-rome-over-crackdown-on-protesters) Tajani added that the Iranian ambassador, Mohammad Reza Saburi, who took up his post on Wednesday, agreed to convey Italy’s requests.

Newsline: Anarchists claim arson attack on Italian embassy car in Athens

A Greek anarchist group has claimed responsibility for an arson attack on an Italian diplomat’s car in Athens. In a statement posted on a far-left website Thursday, a group calling itself “Revenge Cell Carlo Giuliani” said it carried out last Friday’s attack in a show of solidarity for Alfredo Cospito, an imprisoned Italian militant anarchist on hunger strike over prison conditions. (https://www.thestar.com/news/world/europe/2022/12/08/anarchists-claim-athens-arson-attack-on-italian-embassy-car.html) Carlo Giuliani was an anti-global protester killed during protests against a G8 meeting in Genoa in 2001. His name has been used before in claims of responsibility for arson attacks in Greece. Last Friday’s attack, which caused no injuries, targeted the car of Susanna Schlein, a career diplomat and the sister of prominent Italian lawmaker Elly Schlein. Fire service officials said a crude incendiary device exploded in the garage of the diplomat’s home in a northern Athens suburb, burning one car and damaging a second. After Friday’s arson attack, Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani met with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and discussed the incident.

Newsline: Greek police investigates arson outside Italian deputy ambassador’s home

Police in Greece are investigating an arson attack on cars in the parking lot of the Italian deputy ambassador’s home in Athens on Friday, prompting Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni to express her concern. “One car was destroyed and a second one suffered limited damage” a Greek police official said, adding the attack took place in the early morning without endangering anyone’s life. Meloni expressed her “sympathy” and “deep concern” to Susanna Schlein, the first counsellor of the Italian embassy in Athens, adding that the attack “was probably anarchist in origin”. “I am following the matter with the utmost attention,” Meloni said in a written statement. (https://www.fxempire.com/news/article/greek-police-investigates-arson-outside-italian-deputy-ambassadors-home-1217605) The Greek and Italian foreign ministries condemned the attack.

Newsline: Claims that Nancy Pelosi wants to be the US Ambassador to Italy rejected as ‘nonsense’

Nancy Pelosi’s office is pushing back on the ‘utter nonsense’ report that the Speaker will abandon her House leadership role to be U.S. Ambassador to Italy if Republicans take a majority after the 2022 midterms. ‘The Speaker has no interest in this position and has not discussed it with anyone in the White House,’ Pelosi’s spokesman Drew Hammill told DailyMail.com. A Monday report claims that Pelosi, 82, has no interest in returning to a minority leader role in Congress. According to Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo, sources claim President Joe Biden is holding onto the U.S. ambassador to Italy assignment for Pelosi. ‘This is the second time Maria Bartiromo has proceeded with reporting anonymous rumors about the Speaker’s future that have no merit,’ Hammill accused. ‘And the second time she has failed to ask us for comment before airing or publishing this utter nonsense.’ (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11184993/Pelosis-office-rejects-nonsense-report-wants-Ambassador-Italy-GOP-win-House.html) The White House refused to comment on the report, telling DailyMail.com: ‘We don’t engage in hypotheticals.’

Newsline: Top Pakistani Diplomat Involved In Visa Scam In Europe

A high-ranking Pakistani diplomat, who faced serious allegations of human smuggling in March, is at the core of a visa scam as he tried to persuade the European embassies in Islamabad to illegally get visas for Pakistan nationals. A complaint was filed against the high-ranking Pakistani diplomat Israr Husain by Tariq Javid Khan, a former government servant who is in the visa business. Several emails issued to different embassies along with proofs of payment made to the accused diplomat were attached to the application, The News International reported. (https://www.ndtv.com/world-news/top-pak-diplomat-involved-in-visa-scam-in-europe-report-3215112) Husain used to work as an additional secretary of Europe and he would try to persuade the European embassies in Islamabad to get visas for Pakistan nationals. He allegedly tried to send around 11 individuals to Spain. Husain had earlier also served as Pakistan’s ambassador in Czech Republic. Khan alleged that Husain “made an offer to facilitate the issuance of visit, work and residency visas for Italy, the Czech Republic, Spain, Poland and South Korea. He also introduced me to the ambassadors of these countries in Pakistan.” He added that he has the complete record of all payments he made to Hussain in the form of bank receipts, local media reported. The visa was not issued and the Pakistani diplomat had refused to return the money and warned him of dire consequences in case the word went out. The complaint added that the ambassador of Italy, Czech Republic and Spain “will be happy to confirm Husain’s disorderly conduct and they will provide evidence regarding his continuous requests for the illegal issuances of visas.” A formal complaint regarding Husain’s deceptive conduct was submitted to the foreign office by the ambassador of Czech Republic in Pakistan and the ambassador of Pakistan in Czech Republic.

Newsline: Lawmaker says missing North Korean diplomat has settled in South Korea

A former senior North Korean diplomat who disappeared from his country’s embassy in Italy in 2018 has settled in South Korea, a lawmaker in Seoul said on Tuesday. Jo Song Gil, who was North Korea’s acting ambassador to Italy, disappeared with his wife after leaving the embassy without notice in early November 2018, and his whereabouts have been unclear since. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-southkorea-diplomat/lawmaker-says-missing-north-korean-diplomat-has-settled-in-south-korea-idUSKBN26R2EY) In a post on Facebook, Ha Tae-keung, a South Korean opposition party lawmaker who sits on parliament’s intelligence committee, said that Jo had settled in South Korea last year under the protection of the government.

Newsline: Italian Embassy tells Italians not to travel to Russia to avoid harsh Moscow quarantine measures

The Italian Embassy in Moscow has posted on Facebook recommending that citizens of Italy avoid traveling to Russia if they are currently displaying even mild respiratory symptoms or fevers. The recommendation stemmed from newly announced anti-coronavirus measures devised by Moscow City Hall. Mayor Sergey Sobyanin has instituted “self-isolation regimes” for anyone arriving from Italy, China, Iran, and a range of other countries affected by the virus. (https://meduza.io/en/news/2020/03/06/italian-embassy-tells-italians-not-to-travel-to-russia-to-avoid-harsh-moscow-quarantine-measures) Italian diplomats urged travelers from Italy to consider the fact that anyone violating the new rules may face jail time. Sobyanin has also made clear that Moscow’s facial recognition system is being used to track individuals who are meant to be under quarantine as well as those who come into contact with them.

Newsline: Italy’s Foreign Minister to meet foreign ambassadors on coronavirus outbreak

As a swathe of European Union countries advised their citizens not to visit northern Italy, Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said he would meet foreign ambassadors in Rome to explain the progress of the outbreak and measures taken to counter it. Italy’s coronavirus outbreak began spreading on Tuesday from its origins in the northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto, with new cases reported in central Tuscany, the coastal region of Liguria and Sicily in the south. Sicily’s regional governor Nello Musumeci said a tourist from Bergamo, in Lombardy, had been hospitalised in the island’s capital Palermo after being diagnosed with the illness, and all those travelling with her had been quarantined. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-health-italy/italys-coronavirus-outbreak-spreads-from-its-northern-epicentre-idUSKCN20J0U4) The total number of cases in Italy, the country in Europe worst affected, rose to more than 280 from 229 on Monday, with 40 new cases reported in Lombardy and nine new ones in Veneto. Two cases were reported in Tuscany and one in Liguria. The number of deaths was unchanged at seven. An Italian on holiday in the Canary Islands also tested positive, triggering a lockdown of the 4-Star hotel he was staying in while two other Italian nationals were found positive in Austria, where they live. They were believed to have contracted the virus during a trip to Lombardy.