Tag Archives: diplomat

Pompeo meets EU's top diplomat after Pence's Iran accusations

Pompeo meets EU's top diplomat after Pence's Iran accusationsPompeo’s meeting with Federica Mogherini, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, was scheduled before Pence’s rebuke of European powers, during a Middle East peace conference in Warsaw on Thursday. Mogherini, who helped seal the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, greeted Pompeo at EU headquarters in Brussels. State Department spokesman Robert Palladino said Pence’s speech was not raised during the hour-long meeting, which he said was friendly and constructive.



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Trump's evolving foreign policy challenges top US diplomat

Trump's evolving foreign policy challenges top US diplomatRIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — If Mike Pompeo was surprised, he didn't show it. But the secretary of state had woken up in the capital of Saudi Arabia on Monday to find that President Donald Trump had tweeted a threat to NATO ally Turkey warning of economic harm should the Turks attack U.S.-backed rebel forces in Syria.



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Top US diplomat assails Obama in Mideast policy speech

Top US diplomat assails Obama in Mideast policy speechCAIRO (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered a scathing rebuke of the Obama administration's Mideast policies on Thursday, accusing the former president of "misguided" thinking that diminished America's role in the region while harming its longtime friends and emboldening Iran.



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Trump 'may intervene' in Huawei case, as concerns rise over detention of former Canadian diplomat

Trump 'may intervene' in Huawei case, as concerns rise over detention of former Canadian diplomatDonald Trump, the US president, has said he would intervene in the case of arrested Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou if it would help secure a trade deal with Beijing.  “If I think it’s good for the country, if I think it’s good for what will be certainly the largest trade deal ever made – which is a very important thing – what’s good for national security – I would certainly intervene if I thought it was necessary,” he said in an interview on Tuesday with Reuters. Ms Meng, 46, the chief financial officer of the Chinese telecoms giant and daughter of its founder, was granted a £6m bail deal, also on Tuesday, by a Canadian court while she awaits an extradition hearing to the US following her arrest on December 1 at Vancouver airport.  She has been accused of conspiracy to defraud banks after the company allegedly violated sanctions against Iran. The charges have been denied.  China on Sunday summoned the US ambassador to Beijing to lodge its “strong protests”, calling the case “extremely egregious.” Her contentious arrest comes amid an increasingly bitter trade dispute between Washington and Beijing, and the growing row over the case destabilised stock markets further last week.  Protestors gather outside the Supreme Court in Vancouver Credit: James McDonald/Bloomberg Ms Meng’s detention has also soured Beijing’s relations with Canada, with China warning Ottawa of “grave consequences” if she was not immediately released.  China’s arrest on Monday of Michael Kovrig, a former Canadian diplomat, immediately prompted speculation of a retaliatory move by Beijing.  The detention of Mr Kovrig, a China expert currently working for the International Crisis Group as its North East Asia adviser, was being taken “very seriously” said Justin Trudeau, the Canadian prime minister.  China’s foreign ministry on Wednesday said it had no information about his case, but then claimed that the ICG, where Mr Kovrig is a Hong-Kong-based analyst, was not registered in China and that its activities in the country were illegal.  “I do not have information to provide you here,” spokesman Lu Kang said when asked about Mr Kovrig. “If there is such a thing, please do not worry, it is assured that China’s relevant departments will definitely handle it according to law.” US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are having a trade spat Credit: Jim Watson/AFP Because Mr Kovrig’s organisation is not registered as a nongovernmental organisation in China, “once its staff become engaged in activities in China, it has already violated the law,” Mr Lu said, in comments reported by the Associated Press.  He also repeated China’s demand for the immediate release of Ms Meng, whose company has strong connections to the country’s government and military.  “Our request is very clear, that is, the Canadian side should immediately release the detained Ms. Meng Wanzhou and to protect her legitimate rights and interests,” he said. Mr Kovrig was previously a diplomat in China and elsewhere. His current employer said he was taken into custody by the Beijing Bureau of Chinese State Security, which handles intelligence and counterintelligence matters, during one of his regular visits to China’s capital.  Rob Malley, president of the Brussels-based group, said Canadian consular officers had not been given access to Mr Kovrig, who he believed had travelled to Beijing on personal matters.  His sudden detention sent chills through the foreign charity, research and journalist communities, many of whom rose to his defence on social media.  Michael Kovrig, a former Canadian diplomat, has been arrested in China Credit: AP “Those who track human-rights cases in China worry that people around the world are becoming numb to their concerns,” wrote journalist Joanna Chiu, who declared herself to be a friend of Mr Kovrig, in the Vancouver Star. “Please, pay attention to what is happening with Michael’s case.” In her opinion piece, Guy Saint-Jacques, a former Canadian ambassador to China, said he believed the case was “part of China’s efforts to put pressure on Canada on the Huawei case.” Others pointed to similarities with the arrest of Canadians Julia and Kevin Garrett in 2014, in a move widely seen as a reprisal for Canada’s apprehension of Chinese citizen Su Bin, who was later sentenced by the US to nearly four years in prison for his role in the hacking of technical data for military aircraft.  Meanwhile, what appeared to be a screenshot of a bailed Ms Meng, who may now reside in one of her luxury Vancouver properties, thanking Huawei and her country, generated praise on Chinese social media.  In a statement on Sina Weibo, China’s answer to Twitter, Huawei stressed it had complied with all international laws and sanctions.   “We look forward to a timely and fair closure of this incident from the American and Canadian governments… We believe the Canadian and American legal systems will draw a fair conclusion.” Additional reporting: Paula Jin



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Former Canadian diplomat detained in China amid tensions over arrest of Huawei executive

Former Canadian diplomat detained in China amid tensions over arrest of Huawei executiveA former Canadian diplomat has been arrested in  China, amid tensions over the recent detention of a Chinese telecom executive in Vancouver. "We have been in direct contact with the Chinese diplomats and representatives," Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said. "We are engaged with the file (case), which we take very seriously." Canadian Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale on Tuesday confirmed the detention of Michael Kovrig. "We're deeply concerned," he said. "A Canadian is obviously in difficulty in China. We are sparing no effort to do everything we possibly can to look after his safety." The International Crisis Group said on Tuesday it was aware of reports that Mr Kovrig, its North East Asia senior adviser, had been detained. The Brussels-based non-governmental organisation said in a statement that it's doing everything possible to obtain additional information about Mr Kovrig's whereabouts and that it will work to ensure his prompt release. The Globe and Mail in Toronto and the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported the arrest, citing unnamed sources. Reports of Mr Kovrig's detention come after  China  warned Canada of consequences for its December 1 arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou at Vancouver's airport. It's unclear if there's any link between the cases. Ms Meng was detained  over US allegations she misled banks about  Huawei' s control of a firm operating in Iran. Yesterday (Tues), the Washington Post reported that the US government is to take action against China  over hacking and economic espionage,using sanctions and indictments. The report could not immediately be confirmed. The International Crisis Group said Mr Kovrig has been one of its full-time experts since February 2017. The organisation's website says Kovrig previously worked as a Canadian diplomat in Beijing and Hong Kong and at the United Nations. Canada's Global Affairs department didn't immediately respond with comment. Former Canadian Liberal leader Bob Rae said it's clear why he's been detained. "It's called repression and retaliation," Mr Rae tweeted. 



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Canadian former diplomat detained in China amid tensions

Canadian former diplomat detained in China amid tensionsA Canadian former diplomat has been detained in China, the think tank where he now works said Tuesday, amid Beijing’s outrage over the arrest of a senior technology executive. The International Crisis Group said it was aware of reports of the detention of Michael Kovrig, a Chinese-speaking expert who served as a Canadian diplomat in Beijing, Hong Kong and at the United Nations. Kovrig went to work last year for the International Crisis Group, which is known for its research on peaceful solutions to global conflicts.



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Former Canadian diplomat detained in China: sources

Former Canadian diplomat detained in China: sourcesMichael Kovrig’s detention comes after police in Canada arrested the chief financial officer of China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL] on Dec. 1 at the request of U.S. authorities, a move that has infuriated Beijing. It was not immediately clear if the cases were related, but the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver has stoked fears of reprisals against the foreign business community in China. “International Crisis Group is aware of reports that its North East Asia Senior Adviser, Michael Kovrig, has been detained in China,” the think-tank said in a statement.



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China detains former Canadian diplomat as Huawei CFO returns to court

China detains former Canadian diplomat as Huawei CFO returns to courtVANCOUVER/BEIJING (Reuters) – Canada confirmed on Tuesday that one of its citizens was detained in China but said it saw no explicit connection to the arrest in Vancouver of a top executive at Chinese telecoms giant Huawei Technologies Co [HWT.UL]. Confirmation of the detention came soon after the executive, Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, returned to a packed Vancouver courtroom for a bail hearing in a case that has angered Beijing. Canadian analysts had predicted China would retaliate after Meng’s arrest last week at the request of U.S. authorities.



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Jamal Khashoggi Tortured In Front Of Top Saudi Diplomat: Reports

Jamal Khashoggi Tortured In Front Of Top Saudi Diplomat: ReportsJamal Khashoggi, the Washington Post columnist who has not been seen publicly



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US Diplomat Visits Detained Pastor in Turkey

US Diplomat Visits Detained Pastor in TurkeyAmerica's top diplomat in Turkey has visited the U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson who's being held under house arrest in the city of Izmir and called on Turkey to resolve Brunson's case transparently and without delay. (Aug. 14)



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