Tag Archives: diplomacy

Tigray: towards peace

Brussels 12.09.2022 “The Regional Government of Tigray announces its readiness to abide by an immediate cessation of hostilities and to participate in AU-led peace process. This opportunity should be seized by all. Now. EU ready to support” writes the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell.
Ethiopia’s Tigray rebels said Sunday, September 11, they were ready for a ceasefire and would accept a peace process led by the African Union, removing an obstacle to negotiations with the government to end almost two years of brutal warfare.

The announcement was made amid a flurry of international diplomacy after fighting flared last month for the first time in several months in northern Ethiopia, torpedoing a humanitarian truce.

“The government of Tigray is prepared to participate in a robust peace process under the auspices of the African Union,” said a statement by the Tigrayan authorities.

“Furthermore, we are ready to abide by an immediate and mutually agreed cessation of hostilities in order to create a conducive atmosphere.”

Borrell travels Kenya and Mozambique

Brussels 28.01.2021 High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, will visit Kenya from 28-29 January and Mozambique from 30-31 January.

In Kenya, the High Representative will have several bilateral meetings and kick off the EU-Kenya Strategic Dialogue with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Raychelle Omamo, and other Kenyan ministers. The Strategic Dialogue will strengthen the EU’s and Kenya’s regional and multilateral cooperation and focuses on the areas of peace, security and stability; democracy, governance and human rights, including gender equality; trade and investment; social development; climate change and the green transition; and the digital agenda.

The EU-Kenya Strategic Dialogue was agreed by the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, and President Uhuru Kenyatta, in June 2021, to take the bilateral relationship to a new level.

High Representative Borrell will also launch the Kenya-European Union Cooperation Programme for the period 2021-2027, with an amount of €324 million for the first four years, and targeting above all environmental sustainability and resilience; human development and digital inclusion; and peace and stability, with a special focus on women and youth. In addition, he will also visit some EU supported projects and initiatives in Kenya that work on justice reform for the most vulnerable, green job creation and economic growth, and on wildlife and preservation of natural resources.

On 30-31 January, High Representative Borrell will travel to Mozambique, where he will meet with President Filipe Nyusi and Foreign Minister Verónica Macamo Dlhovo. Topics discussed will be EU-Mozambique cooperation, the implementation of the Maputo Peace and Reconciliation Accord, the work of the EU military training mission in Mozambique (EUTM Mozambique) and the EU integrated approach to address security challenges in Cabo Delgado and surrounding provinces.

The High Representative will also visit the headquarters and a training camp of EUTM Mozambique, and an EU-funded project on education and COVID-19 response.

This visit to Africa comes ahead of the sixth EU – AU Summit in Brussels on 17-18 February, attended by the leaders of the European Union and African Union Member States.

Diplomats leave N’Djamena

Brussels 20.04.2021 The U.S. State Dept has ordered all government employees at the US Embassy in Chad to leave as rebel fighters approach the capital, N’Djamena. The UK has also urged its citizens to leave the country. France has been assisting Chad put down the rebel Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT).

FACT spokesman Kingabe Ogouzeimi de Tapol claimed that rebels had “liberated” Kanem region and were still trying push away the remaining state security forces.

“We reassure the population of the city of N’Djamena and its surrounding area, in particular diplomatic personnel, United Nations staff, partners, and expatriates working in Chad, to remain calm and to avoid any non-essential travel outside the city,” Ogouzeimi said in a statement posted to Facebook.

A group of 14 opposition leaders, who had called for their supporters to boycott the election, signed a petition on Sunday calling for a ceasefire to allow for an “inclusive national dialogue.”

Chadian president Deby has been killed, according to state television. What started off a week ago as a small incursion from Libya by Chadian rebels and tribe members has ended in a political crisis.

Borrell : EU-AU “ambitious and creative ” partnership

Brussels, 13.11.2020 The EU top diplomat Josep Borrell described the EU-Africa relationship as a strategic issue and called for a ‘modern, ambitious and creative approach going beyond the prism of the past’. The remarks have been made this afternoon while he addressed EU ambassadors in the closing session of the 2020 EU Ambassadors’ conference. The high diplomat has underlined the central role of multilateral cooperation and partnerships, notably with the African Union, along with the UN and NATO.

In his presentation, Josep Borrell said that in a competitive world, the EU needs to ‘practice the language of power, not just speak it’. Both wider political trends and the COVID-19 pandemic have required the strengthening of the EU as a political project, building a Union that acts and protects. The High Representative/Vice-President instructed EU Ambassadors to ensure an active EU in the global arena and to fly the EU flag and speak the EU’s voice.

In terms of how the EU could enhance its international impact, Josep Borrell called for making full use of all the EU’s instruments and policies and combine these to ensure coherence and build leverage. The use of the EU’s new external spending instruments should be geared towards the Union’s strategic priorities. The Team Europe approach that was born in the pandemic and which brings together the actions of EU institutions and member states, acting under one banner should become the norm everywhere.

Calling EU Member States ‘the ultimate deciders’, the High Representative/Vice-President noted the need to build trust and a common sense of purpose. The EU has to safeguard its ability to act, also when Member States are divided. This requires an honest debate on a selective use of qualified majority voting to ‘avoid paralysis and delays’.

Concluding the conference Josep Borrell has underlined the central role that multilateral cooperation and partnerships, notably with the UN, NATO, the African Union and ASEAN have played and will continue to do in the future.

The high diplomat was addressing EU Ambassadors from the EU’s 143 Delegations and Offices around the world, the heads of EU military and civilian operations and the heads of the European Commission Representations in the 27 EU Member States at the end of a week-long annual conference, which was opened by the High Representative/Vice-President on Monday 9 November.

Taiwan-Somaliland diplomatic ties

Taiwan and the African region of Somaliland, which claims independence, will establish representative offices in each other’s capitals, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said on July 8. Till present Taiwan has formal diplomatic ties with 15 countries because of pressure from the Communist China, which considers the island to be an integral part of its territory with no right to state-to-state relations.

However in February this year Taiwan signed the agreement with Somaliland, strategically located on the Horn of Africa, and Minister Wu added Taiwan’s contacts with Somaliland, a self-declared state internationally recognised only as an autonomous region of Somalia, dated back to 2009.

The top diplomat told reporters in Taipei that eight other nations or international bodies had representative offices in Somaliland, including Ethiopia, although not China.

“I think what we are doing is not much different from other countries,” Wu said, adding that Somaliland had declared independence in 1991 and since then held three democratic presidential elections.

“They have been recognised by many countries as a very free, democratic country in Africa,” the diplomat added. “So, in essence, Somaliland is an independent country.”

China’s influence is not far away, though, as it runs its first ever overseas military base in neighbouring Djibouti.

“International military forces, including those from China, patrol the waters around Somalia on anti-piracy missions.

China and Taiwan have traded barbs for years over the international recognition of the island.

In Africa only the Kingdom of Eswatini has established full diplomatic ties with Taiwan, however in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Embassy doors remain closed.

EU diplomacy on Malawi elections

Tomorrow, on 23 June 2020, the Malawian people will vote in fresh presidential elections after a protracted but constitutionally determined process. Malawi has a distinguished history of promoting and consolidating inclusive democracy, including by ensuring full respect of the constitutional mandates of national institutions, the statement of the European External Actions Service (EEAS) spokesperson reads.

The European Union joins the African Union in calling upon the Malawi Electoral Commission, all political parties, candidates and their supporters to create conditions for a credible, inclusive, transparent and peaceful election and to refrain from any act of violence.

The European Union will work with all actors in Malawi and with its partners, in particular the United Nations and the African Union, in accompanying this democratic process.

Greece expels Libya Ambassador

Libyan ambassador is expelled from Athens following the agreement between Libya and Turkey, signed on November 27, which maps out a sea boundary between the two countries, close to Crete island.

Mohamed Younis AB Menfi has 72 hours to leave the country, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias told reporters on December 6. The Turkey-Libyan accord was a “blatant violation of international law,” Dendias said.

Ankara is backing Libya’s internationally recognized government in Tripoli.The agreement on maritime boundaries in the Mediterranean Sea between Turkey and the Chairman Fayez Al Sarraj administration could complicate disputes over energy exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean, where Turkish drilling has caused indignation of Greek Cypriots, Athens, and the EU.

Mogherini inaugurates EU mission in Nairobi

Today the European Union top diplomat – Federica Mogherini – inaugurates new premises of the EU Mission in Nairobi, Kenya.

The Delegation has the status of a diplomatic mission (Embassy or High Commission) and officially represents the European Union in Kenya. We promote the European Union’s (EU’s) values and interests, monitor the political, economic and commercial situation in the country and the region, oversee the various forms of cooperation between the EU and Kenya, and provide information about the EU’s relations with Kenya” the European External Action Service explains its mission. (Image above: Nairobi skyline).

The EU’s key values and interests can be summed up as: peace, people, prosperity, the planet, and partnership. Here in Kenya, the EU:

  • works together with Kenya, including through AMISOM, to promote peace in neighbouring Somalia;
  • supports democracy and devolution, helping to bring political power closer to ordinary people;
  • is Kenya’s biggest export market and a major source of private investment, as well as providing financing for Kenya’s infrastructure and rural development to spread greater prosperity in the country;
  • supports environmental conservation, which also has wider benefits for the planet;
  • works in partnership with Kenya both as a political partner (through regular political dialogue) and as a development partner (in coordination with other donors of assistance and the relevant Kenyan authorities).

US-UK diplomatic efforts in Libya

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke with UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt  need of peace and stability in Libya as “global priority“. Both top diplomats reaffirmed their commitment to continued diplomatic efforts in Libya aiming at return to political process.

Tripoli: Foreign ministry attacked

The suicide bombers attacked the building Foreign ministry in Tripoli (Libya) on December 25, leaving three dead and nine wounded according to Health ministry sources.

The assailants are suspected to be Islamic State (Caliphate) militants. Three attackers opened fire, entered the building and blow themselves up.

There are reports of fire going on, and photos of a cloud of a dense smoke above the roof of the building.  The emergency services and security are working at spot.

Suicide bombers have targeted a number of institutions as militant groups take advantage of the collapse of the Libyan state after the assassination of the countries leader Colonel Qaddafi of 20 October 2011. Since then Libya has been fragmented, victim to political rivalry, and is widely considered to be a failed state.

AMENDED:

“The terror attack today against the Libyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs further threatens the fragile security situation in Tripoli. We offer condolences to the families of the victims and wish a quick recovery for those injured” – said the External Action Service spokesperson statement published 5:30 pm – 25 Dec 2018.

“This and similar attacks against the sovereign institutions of Libya are unacceptable and those responsible must be held to account. The Libyan people have suffered too much violence already, they deserve to live in a peaceful, stable and secure country.

“We expect all legitimate Libyan stakeholders to rally towards this goal by putting the interest of the Libyan people first. We continue to support the efforts by the UN Special Representative to implement the re-calibrated UN Action Plan to move forward with the transition and to end the political crisis in Libya.”

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