Tag Archives: Consulate

Joint statement by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Federal Foreign Office of Germany on new crossing points on lines of contact in eastern Ukraine (13 November 20) | Instant News


France and Germany have welcomed the creation of two new crossing points on the line of contact. This increases the number of intersection points along approx. 450km length of the seventh contact line. As such, Ukraine complies with the obligations agreed upon by Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany in the conclusion of the Normandy-format summit held in Paris on 9 December 2019. Therefore, Ukraine has taken steps to improve remote conditions at the crossing points before winter arrives. in and to alleviate the suffering of the people in eastern Ukraine. We welcome the support of the European Union in providing infrastructure at the new crossing points at Zolote and Shchastya.

We pay tribute to the involvement of Ambassador Heidi Grau, Special Representative of the Chair of the OSCE in the Trilateral Contact Group, and Ambassador Toni Frisch, Coordinator of the Humanitarian Working Group, in pushing for this Opening.

We call on Russia and the separatists to reopen all existing crossing points on the line of contact in the Donetsk region without delay. Thousands of people seeking to see doctors, withdraw pensions or visit relatives are currently barred from crossing the line of contact. Conflict must not be allowed to continue at the expense of the population, and divisions must not be allowed to widen.

Despite an agreement in the Trilateral Contact Group, the separatists have not fulfilled their obligation to allow the opening of the crossing points at Zolote and Shchastya on November 10 as agreed. We call on Russia to use its influence to ensure that this agreement is implemented. As a member of the Trilateral Contact Group, Russia is also in direct negotiations with Ukraine and bears responsibility for the successful implementation of the conclusions of the Paris Summit.

France and Germany remain committed to fully implementing the agreement reached at the 9 December 2019 Summit.

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Lancaster House Agreement: 10 year Franco-British defense partnership | Instant News


The Lancaster House Treaties, signed on November 2, 2010, is the cornerstone of a solid defense and security partnership between our two countries. This defense cooperation is based on shared interests and a common determination to defend the international order and multilateralism based on democratic and universal values. It rests on a shared vision and longstanding strategic closeness.

As we mark the 10th anniversary of the Agreement, France fully intends to pursue structuring bilateral defense cooperation in all areas over the coming years: operational, capability, industrial and nuclear. This cooperation will continue on the basis of close dialogue on all issues related to international defense and security, to consolidate the privileged defense relationship it has developed with Great Britain, and to maintain a high level of ambition in the years to come.

The domain of French-English cooperation

Over the past 10 years, thanks to the Lancaster House Agreement, Franco-British cooperation has been strengthened especially in the operational and nuclear fields as well as in terms of military capabilities.

  • Regarding its operations, the Combined Joint Expeditionary Force (CJEF) is declared fully operational this year. The CJEF is a binational force that counts up to 10,000 troops, can be deployed in a short time and is capable of conducting high-intensity operations. France and England are also working together on the field. Our two countries are working together on the battlefield, in the Sahel on Operation Barkhane and in the Levant. They also participate in NATO operations on the continent of Europe (Advanced Presence in the Baltic countries, Baltic Air Policing missions).
  • In terms of military capability, the Franco-British arms cooperation has been structured in the missile field around the sharing of information relating to research and needs, to identify the axes of our future cooperation and to streamline costs. The joint Future Cruise and Anti-Ship Weapon (FC / ASW) project is at the heart of our shared priority and could enter the assessment phase as early as 2021. The joint Maritime Mine Counter Measures (MMCM) project has also made significant progress since 2015.
  • The Franco-British nuclear cooperation as outlined in the Lancaster House Treaties was drawn up primarily by the Teutates Treaty, which aims to share radiographic facilities related to the prevention programs of the two countries and which will continue in the coming years.
Read the joint interview by French Ambassador to London Catherine Colonna and British Ambassador to Paris Ed Llewellyn, first published in la Revue de la Défense nationale on November 2, 2020.

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At the Death of Former President Marshall Litokwa Tomeing | Instant News


On behalf of the United States Government, I would like to send my deepest condolences to the family of former President Litokwa Tomeing and to the people of the Marshall Islands for his death.

President Tomeing was a key figure in his country’s founding bodies, including his role in the Marshall Islands Constitutional Convention. The Republic of the Marshall Islands is blessed by a dynamic political career in local and national government. Perhaps one of his greatest legacies is his role in expanding the international presence of the Marshall Islands by successfully advocating for the establishment of the country’s first consulate in the United States in Springdale, Arkansas to serve what is now the largest Marshall community outside Marshall Island.

We commend him for his decades of public service. Together, our two countries can honor their memory and legacy through our continued cooperation and our commitment to shared values.

/ Public Release. Material in this public release comes from the original organization and may be point-in-time, edited for clarity, style and length. view more here.

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The police app disappeared from the Google app store, it was dubbed a New Year’s gift | Instant News


KARACHI: Police failed to comply with their charges because an online police app (app) praised by Karachi police last year for registering complaints and complaints from the city’s public has disappeared without a trace, ARY News reported on Saturday.

An app under the name ‘Police 4 U’ was launched and boasted by Karachi Police Chief Additional IG (AIG) Dr Amir Ahmed Shaikh in 2019 to provide an online avenue for the Karachi community to approach the police.

It was launched by the police at a ceremony held at the Saleem Wahidi Auditorium, Clifton where AIG’s Dr Amir Ahmed Shaikh himself announced it. However, nearly a year after the launch ceremony, the app was not only suspended but also disappeared.

According to the report, police in the metropolitan city have designed an app to make the masses feel comfortable about registering their complaints. The source said it was the police’s attempt to present a community-friendly image to society.

The purpose of this app is for the masses to be able to provide a prompt response so that they can file a crime report or any crime. This app also provides a WhatsApp number in case the app stops working for some reason. However, now that The WhatsApp contact number is also invalid.

READ: Police App to verify domestic helper’s criminal record: SSP South

Then it is proud that with the help of this app, all consulates and embassies belonging to any state and citizens of the country will be able to call the police for assistance in ‘seconds’ of their complaint.

It’s worth noting that the app was dubbed by AIG as a New Year’s gift for the citizens of Karachi, but now not only does the app malfunction, it can’t even be found on the Google App Store.

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Why does the US accuse the Chinese spy consulate of Houston? | Instant News


Tensions between the two biggest economies in the world have increased again this week after the United States ordered the closure of the Chinese embassy in Houston, accusing it of being a den of Chinese spies trying to steal data from facilities in Texas.

In retaliation, China then ordered the United States to close its consulate in Chengdu, accusing its staff of meddling in its internal affairs.

But espionage experts say intelligence gathering is an important part of what diplomatic missions do, and that often includes not only legal means but also the use of spies to gather “confidential information”.

“They did it, we did it. We only hope to catch them, and hope they don’t arrest us,” said Anthony Glees, an internationally published security and intelligence expert and political professor at Buckingham University.

Tensions between the world’s two largest economies are increasing.(AP: Andy Wong)

To some extent, countries choose to “turn a blind eye” to many of these activities because “it is in their mutual interest to do so,” Professor Glees told ABC.

Most of a secret revealed by Edward Snowden in 2014 included detailed information about how the US used its own diplomatic mission to spy on countries around the world, but as a result no US consulate was closed.

But this accepted spy culture does have boundaries, and crossing that line, though rarely, can lead to diplomatic expulsion.

Here we see examples of the past, and why the Houston Chinese consulate – one of five Chinese consulates in the US, along with the embassy in Washington DC – was chosen.

Why Houston?

The Chinese flag is flying outside the Chinese Consulate in Houston
The US Secretary of State called the consulate “a center for spying and theft of intellectual property”.(AP: David J. Phillip)

Senior US officials said that espionage activities by Chinese diplomatic missions took place throughout the country, but their activities outside the Houston consulate went far above what was acceptable.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the consulate “a center of spying and theft of intellectual property”, an accusation which China denies “malicious slander”.

A senior State Department official also linked espionage activities from the consulate to China’s pursuit of vaccine research for the new coronavirus.

Professor Glees said Houston is currently an information center because of its aerospace and pharmaceutical research facilities, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I would not doubt that the Chinese in Houston are improving intelligence. This is one of the few Chinese consulates, but – in terms of cutting edge research – it might be the best place to be,” he told ABC.

But Professor Glees then asked two important questions.

“Is China trying to do this secretly and therefore breaking the law? People would think it is, but it doesn’t have to be,” he said.

“Do the US, Britain and Australia do the same thing? Of course.”

China’s retaliatory efforts to close the US consulate in Chengdu may also be a choice based on strategic location.

“That’s where the US collects information about Tibet and the development of Chinese strategic weapons in neighboring areas,” said Wu Xinbo, a professor and expert on American studies at Fudan University in Shanghai.

Has the embassy ever been closed?

A line of Chinese police officers marched in front of the United States Consulate.
China accuses the Chengdu consulate of meddling in its internal affairs.(AP: From Han Guan)

Closing of embassies amid espionage allegations is rare, but diplomats accused of spying have been driven out in the past.

In 2018, 153 Russian diplomats were expelled by Britain and the allied countries that followed poisoning experiments of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the city of Salisbury in England.

Sergei Skripal and Yulia Skripal
Sergei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned in 2018.(The AP)

Russia responded by expelling 23 British diplomats and ordered the closure of the British consulate in St. Petersburg and the office of the British Council in Moscow.

At the height of the Cold War, Britain expelled 25 Soviet diplomats after the defection of Oleg Gordievsky, the former head of KGB operations in London, who had appointed KGB personnel operating at the Soviet embassy in London.

In Canberra, the Soviet embassy was closed in 1954 when an intelligence officer based in the capital defected, offering to provide information about Soviet espionage activities against Australia and west. The Embassy reopened in 1959.

A mysterious burglary

Consulate workers carry diplomatic bags from the Chinese Consulate General.
China condemned the burglary by saying it violated the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.(AP: Brett Coomer)

While the expulsion of diplomats and, more than that, the closure of the embassy rarely happens outside the war, Professor Glees said being forced into the consulates of other countries was “absolutely not possible”.

But shortly after the Houston consulate closed, a group of men who appeared to be American officials were seen forcing open the back door of the building.

After the people entered, two uniformed members from the US State Department’s Diplomatic Security Bureau arrived to guard the door.

China condemns the breach by saying it violates the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and the China-US consular agreement.

“But they will just get away with it because Trump is ready to be reelected and going to China now makes sense politically even if there is no specific reason, to be honest.”

‘Legal spies’ and illegal operators

Professor Glees said consular staff who were officially registered and known as hosts could operate as “legal spies”, but they were required by law to comply with certain rules.

This intelligence meeting, whether confidential or open, can be held in many ways such as through meetings, conferences and visiting universities, businesses or research centers.

“Then you have ‘illegal’ – officers and agents who are not listed in the embassy’s name list … assuming your identity or just using the excuse to be in the recipient country to conduct espionage on his part,” he said.

But even “legal spies” are sometimes involved in illegal espionage, most often by recruiting agents to act on their behalf.

Chen Yonglin, former Chinese diplomat defected to Australia in 2005, said “espionage is normal for all governments”.

He said while Chinese diplomats were gathering information openlyto avoid being accused of engaging in secret intelligence work “, they might also provide primary assistance for covert operations.

“But most operations are run independently by various [government] department, “he told ABC, adding that in many cases Chinese state-run companies could provide safer homes.

Mr Chen said most of the infiltration could be done more effectively through migration – especially skilled workers and experts.

Close Chen Yonglin, wear glasses.
Former Chinese diplomat Chen Yonglin defected to Australia in 2005.(ABC TV)

Instead of using embassies or consulates, they can communicate directly with Chinese officials or meet in a third country, making this operation very difficult to detect.

The most common diplomats work to create connections and place students and experts in the main research department to openly obtain information about new technologies and developments that can then be used by China, he said, adding that such activities are very broad in Australia where his response to theft of intellectual property has been “weak”.

Instead, the Trump administration has taken a hard line against China in trade and politics.

What might happen next?

Composite image of Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump.
Relations between Washington and Beijing have fallen to what experts say is their lowest level in decades.(Reuters)

Issues ranging from trade to the coronavirus pandemic, China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea and its crackdown on Hong Kong, have plunged relations between Washington and Beijing to what experts say is the lowest level in decades.

Following a burglary on the now closed Houston site, China has threatened to cause a reaction, and the White House has not ruled out the possibility of closing more embassies.

While in a related incident, a researcher who fled to the Chinese consulate in San Francisco after allegedly lying to investigators about his Chinese military service was also arrested by US officials.

“As far as closing additional embassies, it’s always possible,” US President Donald Trump told reporters earlier this week.

But Chen said while the US appeared to distance itself from China, further responses from Beijing were likely to be held back.

“China benefits broadly from globalization,” he said.

“China’s economy relies on international trade and shared technology and they don’t want to risk breaking up with the US or Australia.”

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