The father of US secretary of state Donald Blinken has died

Donald Blinken, a former US diplomat and father of current US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has died at the age of 96, his son has said. Antony Blinken tweeted that his father, who served as US Ambassador to Hungary between 1994 and 1997, was “a source of love and inspiration” and had inspired him to join the public service. Born in New York, Mr Blinken Sr served in the Army Air Corps in World War Two. He graduated with a degree in Economics from Harvard in 1948. In 1966, he co-founded the investment banking firm EM Warburg, Pincus & Co, … Continue reading The father of US secretary of state Donald Blinken has died

US hostage swapped for Afghan leader linked to Taliban

The Taliban have released a US engineer they had held hostage since 2020 in exchange for an Afghan tribal leader held in US custody since 2005. Mark Frerichs was handed over at Kabul airport on Monday, the Taliban said. In return they received Bashir Noorzai, a Taliban ally serving a life sentence for drug trafficking. US President Joe Biden said that the swap required “difficult decisions” that he did not take lightly. Mr Frerichs, 60, was abducted by the Taliban the year before the group swept back to power in Afghanistan and its Western-backed government collapsed. He had been living … Continue reading US hostage swapped for Afghan leader linked to Taliban

Emmanuel Macron to mend Algeria ties as energy crisis bites

French President Emmanuel Macron arrives in Algeria on Thursday hoping to repair fractured relations with a nation whose oil and gas reserves have new strategic significance because of Europe’s looming energy crisis. His visit comes after a long period of tension over conflicting memories of Algeria’s bloody war of independence. Algeria recalled its ambassador to Paris late last year over it. But both countries have since signalled their desire for a reset. According to the Elysée palace, President Macron has “made the choice to orientate this visit towards the future… and lay down the basis for a relaunching of the … Continue reading Emmanuel Macron to mend Algeria ties as energy crisis bites

Australia’s new PM vows improved relationship with France after submarine row

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will visit Paris to “reset” relations with France after tensions erupted over a scrapped submarine deal. Australia in 2021 cancelled a multi-billion dollar contract with a French firm to build the submarines. It instead signed a new defence pact with the US and the UK, infuriating French President Emmanuel Macron. He accused then leader Scott Morrison of lying to him, briefly recalling France’s ambassador in protest. Mr Albanese, who was elected in May will travel to Madrid next week for the Nato summit. He will make a detour to Paris to smooth over ties. “It … Continue reading Australia’s new PM vows improved relationship with France after submarine row

US agrees to ease Trump-era sanctions on Cuba

US officials have announced plans to ease tough sanctions imposed on Cuba by former President Donald Trump. Under new measures approved by the Biden administration, restrictions on family remittances and travel to the island will be eased. The processing of US visas for Cubans will also be speeded up. State Department spokesman Ned Price said the move would allow Cuban citizens to pursue a life free from “government oppression”. The loosening of sanctions will see a cap on family remittances – funds sent by migrants in the US to family members in Cuba – removed. Previously migrants were prevented from … Continue reading US agrees to ease Trump-era sanctions on Cuba

U.S. Senate confirms Caroline Kennedy to be ambassador to Australia

The U.S. Senate on Thursday confirmed Caroline Kennedy, a former ambassador to Japan and daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy, as the U.S. ambassador to Australia, an important ally to the United States. Kennedy, 64, is an author and attorney. Her father was the 35th president of the United States, who served from 1961 until his assassination in November 1963. She previously served as U.S. ambassador to Japan from 2013-2017 under former President Barack Obama. She heads to Canberra as its relationship with Washington strengthens in response to China’s growing power and increasingly assertive behavior in Asia and … Continue reading U.S. Senate confirms Caroline Kennedy to be ambassador to Australia

Biden nominates Bridget Brink as new US Ambassador to Ukraine

President Biden on Monday has nominated Bridget Brink, the current U.S. Ambassador to Slovakia to be the new U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine. Bridget Brink The announcement comes after U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of State Lloyd Austin met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv on Sunday.  State Department spokesman Ned Price said earlier Monday that Brink’s “decades of experience make her uniquely suited for this moment in Ukraine’s history.”  Prior to Monday’s nomination, Brink “previously served as Senior Advisor and Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs and as the Deputy Chief of Mission … Continue reading Biden nominates Bridget Brink as new US Ambassador to Ukraine

Secret Service kills intruder at Peruvian ambassador’s home

The US Secret Service reportedly shot an intruder at the home of the Peruvian ambassador to the United States, law enforcement officials said. The shooting occurred in the Forest Hills neighborhood in the northwest of Washington DC. The Secret Service said officers shot the intruder “following a confrontation” at the ambassador’s home. No other details were provided to The Associated Press. Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert Contee told reporters that the agents initially tried to use Tasers on the intruder, who they claim was carrying a “metal stake.” “They encountered this person, they pulled their less-than-lethal service weapons, their Tasers,” Mr Contee said. “The officers fired those … Continue reading Secret Service kills intruder at Peruvian ambassador’s home

Morocco, Spain patch up diplomatic feud after Spanish shift on Western Sahara

Spanish Prime Minister Sanchez meets with Moroccan King Mohammed VI at the Royal Palace in Rabat Morocco said on Thursday it will open a new page in its ties with Spain, apparently ending a diplomatic crisis after Madrid supported Rabat on the question of sovereignty over Western Sahara. During a meeting in Rabat, King Mohammed VI and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez “reiterated their willingness to usher a new phase, based on mutual respect, mutual trust, permanent consultation and frank and loyal cooperation,” a statement issued by the Royal Palace said on Thursday. It also said Sanchez reaffirmed a position … Continue reading Morocco, Spain patch up diplomatic feud after Spanish shift on Western Sahara

A Diplomat’s Diplomat: US first female Secretary of state, Madeleine Albright dies at 84

Madeleine Albright Madeleine Albright, who came to the United States as a child refugee and rose to be the first female secretary of state, shaping American foreign policy at the end of the 20th century, has died at the age of 84.US president Bill Clinton and then secretary of state Madeleine Albright, in 1999 in Istanbul Tapped by President Bill Clinton as ambassador to the United Nations then as the US top diplomat, Albright was one of the most influential stateswoman of her generation. In mourning her passing, Clinton said Albright had been “a force for freedom, democracy and human … Continue reading A Diplomat’s Diplomat: US first female Secretary of state, Madeleine Albright dies at 84

Islamabad apologises for raid on North Korean embassy, says Sheikh Rashid

Hours after North Korea accused police in Islamabad of breaking the Vienna Convention following a raid on country’s embassy in the federal capital. Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Thursday said that Islamabad had ‘apologised’ for the incident that had occurred due to a ‘misunderstanding’. “We have apologised to the North Korean mission, the incident happened out of misunderstanding,” the interior minister said in a press conference in Islamabad, Geo News reported.Pakistan’s Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed In response, the Foreign Office spokesperson said the Islamabad Police had been informed that they did not have the authority to enter the … Continue reading Islamabad apologises for raid on North Korean embassy, says Sheikh Rashid

US to reopen Solomon Islands embassy after 29 years

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken The United States plans to re-establish an embassy in the Solomon Islands, a senior State Department official said Saturday, as Washington seeks to beef up its presence in a region where China is rapidly expanding its influence. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is set to announce the opening of a new embassy on the Pacific island state during a visit to nearby Fiji, 29 years after the United States downgraded its diplomatic presence in Honiara. The move comes just a few months after riots in the island chain of 800,000 people in November when … Continue reading US to reopen Solomon Islands embassy after 29 years