French ambassador leaves Minsk after Minsk expels him

France’s ambassador to Belarus has left the country after the Belarus government ordered him out, AFP news agency reports. An embassy spokesperson confirmed to AFP that ambassador Nicolas de Lacoste left the country on Sunday. He had been told to leave by Monday. Mr de Lacoste, who is 57, was posted to Minsk late last year. Local media have suggested that he had failed to present his credentials to President Alexander Lukashenko. France, like other EU countries, has not recognised Mr Lukashenko’s claim to a sixth presidential term after last August’s elections amid widespread claims of voting fraud. Mr de … Continue reading French ambassador leaves Minsk after Minsk expels him

Havana syndrome reported at US embassy in Colombia

US officials are investigating possible cases of Havana syndrome illness in Colombia, days before a visit by the Secretary of State, US media say. US embassy staff in Bogota may have been injured by the mysterious illness, which causes a painful sound in the ears, fatigue and dizziness. First reported in Cuba in 2016, US diplomats around the world have since reported cases of the syndrome. Its origins are unknown, with some speculating it is a type of weapon. On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal first reported that emails sent by US Ambassador to Colombia Philip Goldberg confirmed a number … Continue reading Havana syndrome reported at US embassy in Colombia

Algeria closes airspace to all Moroccan planes

Algeria’s presidency has announced the closure of the country’s airspace to all Moroccan planes, according to the presidency, in the latest dispute between the two neighbours at odds mainly over Western Sahara. The move on Wednesday was announced after a meeting of the High Security Council chaired by President Abdelmadjid Tebboune. A statement said the immediate shutting down affected “all civilian and military aircraft as well as to those registered in Morocco”. The decision came “in view of the continued provocations and hostile practices on the Moroccan side”, it added. There was no immediate reaction by Morocco. A source at … Continue reading Algeria closes airspace to all Moroccan planes

So Sad: German ambassador to China, ex-Merkel adviser, dies at 54

Germany’s new ambassador to China, who was previously a senior adviser to Chancellor Angela Merkel, has died at age 54, the German Foreign Ministry said Monday.Jan Hecker (Left) The ministry announced Jan Hecker’s “sudden death” in a short statement in the early hours of Monday. It didn’t give details of when or where Hecker died, or specify a cause of death. Hecker, who became ambassador in August, was married and had three children, according to his biography on the Foreign Ministry website. He arrived in China on Aug. 1 and presented his credentials on Aug. 24, according to the Chinese … Continue reading So Sad: German ambassador to China, ex-Merkel adviser, dies at 54

Wife of murdered Greek ambassador jailed over his death in Brazil

A Brazilian woman has been sentenced to 31 years in prison for planning the murder of her husband, the former Greek ambassador to Brazil. In 2016, Kyriakos Amiridis’ charred remains were found in the boot of a burnt-out car in Rio de Janeiro. His wife Françoise de Souza Oliveira had been having an affair with a military police officer, Sergio Gomes. Mr Gomes later confessed to killing the ambassador at the behest of his lover, and he has been jailed for 22 years. At the end of their three-day trial, a judge described their crime as “bestial”. Another man, Eduardo … Continue reading Wife of murdered Greek ambassador jailed over his death in Brazil

Algeria cuts diplomatic relations with Morocco

Algeria’s Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra speaks during a news conference in Algiers Algeria cut diplomatic relations with Morocco on Tuesday, citing what it called hostile actions by its most populous neighbour with which it has had strained relations for decades. Speaking at a news conference in Algiers, Foreign Minister Ramdane Lamamra accused Morocco of using Pegasus spyware against its officials, supporting a separatist group and failing in bilateral commitments, including on the Western Sahara issue. “The Moroccan kingdom has never stopped its hostile actions against Algeria,” he said, announcing the immediate cessation of ties. Consulates in each country, however, will … Continue reading Algeria cuts diplomatic relations with Morocco

Cuban embassy in Paris targeted with petrol bombs

The Cuban embassy in Paris says its building was attacked overnight with petrol bombs, causing serious damage but no injuries to diplomatic staff. The embassy on Tuesday condemned the attack on its premises, located in the French capital’s 15th arrondissement. It did not say who it thought was responsible for the incident, which occurred around midnight on Monday. The Cuban foreign ministry’s International Press Centre said three Molotov cocktails were thrown, with two hitting the embassy and sparking a fire. Cuban diplomats extinguished the blaze as French firefighters and police arrived at the scene, it added. There was no immediate … Continue reading Cuban embassy in Paris targeted with petrol bombs

Update: Belgium’s South Korea Ambassador fired over row shop worker

The Belgian Embassy has terminated its South Korean ambassador after viral footage was released in which his wife appeared to assault a shop employee. According to a press release, the Embassy of Belgium in Seoul released on Facebook, Belgian Ambassador Peter Lescouhier has been removed from his role in South Korea in light of his wife’s alleged attack on a local clothing store employee. Footage of the initial incident was obtained by the South China Morning Post and posted on Facebook in early April. According to the CCTV video, Lescouhier’s wife Xiang Xueqiu appeared to slap a woman across the face while out … Continue reading Update: Belgium’s South Korea Ambassador fired over row shop worker

Australia to shut embassy in Afghanistan over violence fears

Australia has said it will shut its embassy in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul on Friday, as the withdrawal of international troops proceeds. In a statement, Canberra talked of “an increasingly uncertain security environment” in the country. It said Australian diplomats would visit Afghanistan regularly – but would be based elsewhere in the region. There are fears that the withdrawal of the US-led NATO force could plunge Afghanistan back into a full-scale war. In April, US President Joe Biden said American troops would leave by 11 September, after 20 years of military involvement in Afghanistan.  “It is time to end America’s longest … Continue reading Australia to shut embassy in Afghanistan over violence fears

Tragic: Senior Swiss diplomat in Iran dies in fall from high-rise building

A senior member of staff at the Swiss embassy in Tehran has died after falling from the high-rise building where she lived, Iranian media report. An emergency services spokesman told Mehr news agency that the 51-year-old woman was first secretary at the embassy but did not give her name. Police in the Kamraniyeh area alerted paramedics on Tuesday morning but she had been “dead for a while”, he said. The Swiss foreign ministry confirmed an employee had died in an accident. “The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and its head Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis are shocked by the tragic death … Continue reading Tragic: Senior Swiss diplomat in Iran dies in fall from high-rise building

‘GET THE F*** OUT’: Filipino diplomat fumes over China incursions

The Philippines’s top diplomat has demanded in an expletive-laden social media message that China’s vessels leave the country’s waters, the latest salvo in a war of words between Manila and Beijing over the disputed South China Sea. “China, my friend, how politely can I put it? Let me see… O… GET THE F*** OUT,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr wrote on Twitter on Monday. After his comments lit up social media, Locsin commented further on Tuesday: “If Wang Yi is following Twitter then I’m sorry for hurting his feelings but his alone”, referring to his Chinese counterpart. The latest … Continue reading ‘GET THE F*** OUT’: Filipino diplomat fumes over China incursions

Update: Belgian ambassador to South Korea apologises for wife’s assault video

Belgium’s ambassador to South Korea apologised Thursday after footage showed his wife hitting two boutique staff in the head in a row over shoplifting. The envoy’s wife tried on items in the Seoul store before walking out, prompting an assistant to run after her to ask about an item she was wearing and reportedly triggering the confrontation. CCTV camera footage broadcast by South Korea’s SBS showed her pulling at one employee’s arm and hitting her in the head, before slapping another worker who tried to intervene across the face. The footage had been provided to it in the hope that such … Continue reading Update: Belgian ambassador to South Korea apologises for wife’s assault video