Tag Archives: Ambassador

N.Korea diplomat applied for asylum in Italy

North Korea’s top diplomat in Italy has applied for asylum and gone into hiding, Seoul lawmakers told reporters after a closed-door meeting with South Korean intelligence officials.

It would mark the latest high-profile defection by a senior North Korean envoy since the deputy ambassador in London in 2016.

Acting ambassador Jo Song Gil’s term was ending in late November last year and he escaped the diplomatic compound in early November” with his wife, lawmaker Kim Min-ki told reporters.

Jo Song-gil (48), has been acting ambassador in Rome since October 2017 after Italy expelled the then ambassador Mun Jong Nam in protest at a North Korean nuclear test a month earlier in violation of UN resolutions.

Italy is an important diplomatic mission for Pyongyang, as it handles relations with the Rome-headquartered UN Food and Agriculture Organization and North Korea suffers from chronic food shortages.

4.01.2019/ AMENDED:

A North Korean diplomat in Italy said to be seeking asylum is from a “prestigious diplomatic family” with both his father and father-in-law having worked in Pyongyang‘s foreign ministry,  Agency France press reports.

Ambassador Nikki Haley resigns

President Donald Trump said he believes Amb. Nikki Haley has helped make the position of UN ambassador “more glamorous” and “more important” and said that “many people” want to succeed her in the post.

I think she’s helped make it a much better position…She’s made it a more glamorous position, she’s made it, more importantly, a more important position,” Trump said. Here is the resignation letter of Amb.Haley:

“Dear Mr. President:

It has been an immense honor to serve our country in your Administration. I cannot thank you enough for giving me this opportunity.

You will recall that when you offered me the position of United States Ambassador to the United Nations in November 2016, I accepted the offer based on some conditions. Those conditions included serving in your Cabinet and on the National Security Council and being free to speak my mind on the issues of the day. You made those commitments and you have absolutely kept them all. For that too, I will always be grateful.

We achieved great successes at the UN. We passed the toughest sanctions against any country in a generation, pressuring North Korea toward denuclearization. We passed an arms embargo on South Sudan that will help reduce violence and hopefully bring peace to that troubled country. We stood up for our ally Israel and began to roll back the UN’s relentless bias against her. We reformed UN operations and saved over $1.3 billion. We spoke out resolutely against dictatorships in Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, and yes, Russia. Through it all, we stood strong for American values and interests, always placing America first. I am proud of our record.

As a strong supporter of term limits, I have long believed that rotation in office benefits the public. Between the UN Ambassadorship and serving in the South Carolina Governorship and General Assembly, I have been in public office for fourteen straight years. As a businessman, I expect you will appreciate my sense that returning from government to the private sector is not a step down but a step up.

Accordingly, I am resigning my position. To give you time to select a replacement, and to give the Senate time to consider your selection, I am prepared to continue to serve until January 2019.

At that point, I will once again become a private citizen. I expect to continue to speak out from time to time on important public policy matters, but I will surely not be a candidate for any office in 2020. As a private citizen, I look forward to supporting your re-election as President, and supporting the policies that will continue to move our great country toward even greater heights.

With best wishes and deep gratitude,

Nikki Haley”

EU Ambassadors conference in Brussels

The annual EU Ambassadors conference will take place in Brussels from 3-7 September. The conference brings together the heads of all EU Delegations around the world as well as heads of the EU Missions, EU Special Representatives and EU Special Envoys.

The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini, will on deliver the opening address on September 3.

Among Ambassadors taking floor over the course of the week are the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs of Belgium, Didier Reynders, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, Chrystia Freeland, and the Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs of Austria, which currently holds the 6-month rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union, Karin Kneissl. In addition, several Commissioners will hold discussions with the Ambassadors, as will senior officials from the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the European Commission.

The European Union has a network of 140 EU Delegations and Offices around the world. For over 50 years, the Delegations and Offices have been the face and voice of the EU towards the authorities and people of their host countries or international organisations.

The opening speech of the EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini will be transmitted live on EbS.

AMENDED 03/09/2018

HE Antonov – Russian Ambassador to USA

A deputy minister of foreign affairs of Russian Federation His Excellency (HE) Anatoly Antonov (62) is appointed as a new ambassador to the USA, the news announced via the site of Kremlin. Antonov candidacy has been approved by the Council of Federation, the upper chamber of the parliament.

 

In Russia Antonov is well-known public figure,  being systematically involved in debate on military and political issues, he also took part in numerous scientific and analytical conferences. Antonov was responsible for establishing contacts between Russian Defense Ministry and the military departments of foreign countries, while working as a deputy minister of the Defence ministry (since 2011).
In connection with the coup-d’état in Ukraine, and return of Crimea to Russia, in February 2015 his name was included in the sanctions lists of the European Union and Canada, in September 2015 – in the sanctions list of Ukraine.
On December 18, 2016, by a decree of the President of the Russian Federation, he was appointed Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation in charge of issues of military-political security.
On May 11, 2017, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs submitted Antonov’s candidacy to the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation to consider the appointment to the post of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the United States. The appointment was approved by the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation and the Council of Federation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation.
Antonov will replace Sergey Kislyak (66), who held the position for eight years, which is not exceptional in Russian civil servant’s system, where notion of rotation is rather vague. However Kislyak’s replacement is not occurring in overdue of his mandate, but the  investigations by the FBI and Congress into Kislyak’s contacts with Trump aides during the 2016 election campaign.

 

Russian diplomat to lead UN Counter-terrorism office

United Nations head Antonio Guterres has chosen to appoint a Moscow envoy in Vienna Vladimir Voronkov to head a newly created U.N. Office of Counterterrorism, giving a Russian a top job at U.N. headquarters in New York. Russia’s Ambassador to International Organisations in Vienna, Vladimir Voronkov, will have the rank of undersecretary-general. He’s spent more than 30 years in Russia’s foreign service working primarily on U.N. issues.

https://twitter.com/henrylec1/status/877756400671141889

Prior to his appointment, Mr. Voronkov was Director of the Department of European Cooperation (2008-2011) at the Ministry of Affairs in Moscow, during which time he headed his country’s delegation to the Russia-European Union negotiations on a visa-free regime (2010-2011).

Beginning his career at the Foreign Ministry in 1989, he served in various capacities, including Deputy Permanent Representative to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna (2005-2008), Deputy Director of the Personnel Department (2002-2005), as well as Minister Counsellor and Deputy Chief of Mission at his country’s Embassy in Poland (2000-2002).

Mr. Voronkov holds a PhD from Moscow State University, and has authored various scientific publications on international issues.

Voronkov  has been Russia’s ambassador to U.N. organizations in Vienna since 2011, including the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime that deals with counterterrorism.

Brexit: Tim Barrow UK envoy to EU

tim-barrow

A career diplomat, and former ambassador to Moscow, Tim Barrow (52) will come to Brussels as a replacement for ambassador Sir Ivan Rogers to lead the UK Representation to the European Union.

Political director of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office,  Barrow would start working from next week onwards, according to UK officials. The PM office ensured there will be no vacuum after Roger’s departure.

Along his career Barrow demonstrated excellence in performing at most challenging missions operating as an envoy to Russia in 2011-2015, the times of dramatic deterioration of relations between the Kremlin and the West.

Ambassador Barrow has been promoted being well-known as ‘problem solver’ and ‘pragmatist’ to what is considered the most challenging UK diplomatic mission of all.

The Brexit leading politician in Brussels UKIP MEP Nigel Farage explained the self-imposed departure of ambassador Rogers as a part of replacement process of ‘StrongerIn’ governmental campaigners. The point of view indirectly confirmed by European Commission’s spokesperson Natasha Bertraud laments over Rogers’ quitting.

The decision of a civil servant Ivan Rogers to explain to broader public his decision to quit over accumulated frustrations over his government lack of clarity and strategy in Brexit has been seen by many experts as a ‘last sing of anarchy’ while preparing to evoke Article 50.

While the ‘remainers’ lamented Sir Rogers, the ‘brexiters’ cheered his successor Barrow. Boris Johnson is the most enthusiastic over a new appointment, calling Barrow a ‘brilliant’ man.

The role of the UK Permanent representative to the EU is crucial in delivery of accurate information to the Prime Minister and government during #Brexit period.

ivan-rogers

The world media discusses the move of the he UK’s ambassador to the European Union, Sir Ivan Rogers who resigned from the beginning of 2017, addressing a following letter to his staff:

Dear All,

Happy New Year! I hope that you have all had/are still having, a great break, and that you will come back refreshed and ready for an exciting year ahead.

I am writing to you all on the first day back to tell you that I am today resigning as Permanent Representative.

As most of you will know, I started here in November 2013. My four-year tour is therefore due to end in October – although in practice if we had been doing the Presidency my time here would have been extended by a few months.

As we look ahead to the likely timetable for the next few years, and with the invocation of Article 50 coming up shortly, it is obvious that it will be best if the top team in situ at the time that Article 50 is invoked remains there till the end of the process and can also see through the negotiations for any new deal between the UK and the EU27.

It would obviously make no sense for my role to change hands later this year.

I have therefore decided to step down now, having done everything that I could in the last six months to contribute my experience, expertise and address book to get the new team at political and official level under way.

This will permit a new appointee to be in place by the time Article 50 is invoked.

Importantly, it will also enable that person to play a role in the appointment of Shan’s replacement as DPR. [Shan Morgan his deputy]

I know from experience – both my own hugely positive experience of working in partnership with Shan, and from seeing past, less happy, examples – how imperative it is that the PR and DPR operate as a team, if UKREP is to function as well as I believe it has done over the last few years.

I want to put on record how grateful I am to Shan for the great working relationship we have had.

She will be hugely missed in UKREP, and by many others here in Brussels, but she will be a tremendous asset to the Welsh government.

From my soundings before Christmas, I am optimistic that there will be a very good field of candidates for the DPR role.

But it is right that these two roles now get considered and filled alongside each other, and for my successor to play the leading role in making the DPR appointment.

I shall therefore stand aside from the process at this point.

I know that this news will add, temporarily, to the uncertainty that I know, from our many discussions in the autumn, you are all feeling about the role of UKREP in the coming months and years of negotiations over “Brexit”.

I am sorry about that, but I hope that it will help produce earlier and greater clarity on the role that UKREP should play.

My own view remains as it has always been. We do not yet know what the government will set as negotiating objectives for the UK’s relationship with the EU after exit.

There is much we will not know until later this year about the political shape of the EU itself, and who the political protagonists in any negotiation with the UK will be.

But in any negotiation which addresses the new relationship, the technical expertise, the detailed knowledge of positions on the other side of the table – and the reasons for them, and the divisions amongst them – and the negotiating experience and savvy that the people in this building bring, make it essential for all parts of UKREP to be centrally involved in the negotiations if the UK is to achieve the best possible outcomes.

Serious multilateral negotiating experience is in short supply in Whitehall, and that is not the case in the Commission or in the Council.

The government will only achieve the best for the country if it harnesses the best experience we have – a large proportion of which is concentrated in UKREP – and negotiates resolutely.

Senior ministers, who will decide on our positions, issue by issue, also need from you detailed, unvarnished – even where this is uncomfortable – and nuanced understanding of the views, interests and incentives of the other 27.

The structure of the UK’s negotiating team and the allocation of roles and responsibilities to support that team, needs rapid resolution.

The working methods which enable the team in London and Brussels to function seamlessly need also to be strengthened.

The great strength of the UK system – at least as it has been perceived by all others in the EU – has always been its unique combination of policy depth, expertise and coherence, message co-ordination and discipline, and the ability to negotiate with skill and determination.

UKREP has always been key to all of that. We shall need it more than ever in the years ahead.

As I have argued consistently at every level since June, many opportunities for the UK in the future will derive from the mere fact of having left and being free to take a different path.

But others will depend entirely on the precise shape of deals we can negotiate in the years ahead.

Contrary to the beliefs of some, free trade does not just happen when it is not thwarted by authorities: increasing market access to other markets and consumer choice in our own, depends on the deals, multilateral, plurilateral and bilateral that we strike, and the terms that we agree.

I shall advise my successor to continue to make these points.

Meanwhile, I would urge you all to stick with it, to keep on working at intensifying your links with opposite numbers in DEXEU [Department for Exiting the EU] and line ministries and to keep on contributing your expertise to the policy-making process as negotiating objectives get drawn up.

The famed UKREP combination of immense creativity with realism ground in negotiating experience, is needed more than ever right now.

On a personal level, leaving UKREP will be a tremendous wrench. I have had the great good fortune, and the immense privilege, in my civil service career, to have held some really interesting and challenging roles: to have served four successive UK prime ministers very closely; to have been EU, G20 and G8 Sherpa; to have chaired a G8 Presidency and to have taken part in some of the most fraught, and fascinating, EU negotiations of the last 25 years – in areas from tax, to the MFF to the renegotiation.

Of all of these posts, I have enjoyed being the Permanent Representative more than any other I have ever held.

That is, overwhelmingly, because of all of you and what you all make UKREP: a supremely professional place, with a fantastic co-operative culture, which brings together talented people whether locally employed or UK-based and uniquely brings together people from the home civil service with those from the Foreign Office.

UKREP sets itself demanding standards, but people also take the time to support each other which also helps make it an amazingly fun and stimulating place to work.

I am grateful for everything you have all done over the last few years to make this such a fantastic operation.

For my part, I hope that in my day-to-day dealings with you I have demonstrated the values which I have always espoused as a public servant.

I hope you will continue to challenge ill-founded arguments and muddled thinking and that you will never be afraid to speak the truth to those in power.

I hope that you will support each other in those difficult moments where you have to deliver messages that are disagreeable to those who need to hear them.

I hope that you will continue to be interested in the views of others, even where you disagree with them, and in understanding why others act and think in the way that they do.

I hope that you will always provide the best advice and counsel you can to the politicians that our people have elected, and be proud of the essential role we play in the service of a great democracy.

Ivan

(Source: BBC, Reuters)

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