International Round-Up: Denmark issues joint declaration on Israeli settlements

The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with 11 other European states and the United Kingdom, has issued a joint statement condemning Israel’s plans to build 3,000 settlement units in the occupied West Bank.

The declaration, which represents the governments of Denmark, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain and Sweden, reads: “We strongly oppose Israel’s policy of expanding settlements across the Occupied Palestinian Territories , which violates international law and undermines efforts for the two-state solution. “

Follows US leadership
The joint statement came a day after a U.S. reprimand of construction plans.

“We are strongly opposed to the expansion of settlements, which is completely incompatible with efforts to ease tensions and ensure calm, and that damages the prospects for a two-state solution,” said State Department spokesman Ned Price.

Under Donald Trump, the United States encouraged Israel’s activity on occupied Palestinian soil, and then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo even visited a settlement.

About 475,000 Israeli Jews currently live in settlements in the occupied West Bank, which are considered illegal under international law.


Turkey moves to deport ambassadors of Denmark and nine other countries
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has led to the expulsion of ten ambassadors, including Denmark, following their joint call for the release of Turkish activist Osman Kavala. Along with Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Germany, France, the Netherlands, the United States, Canada and New Zealand have signed the declaration criticizing delays in the trial of Kavala, who was jailed four years ago for his alleged role in anti-government protests in Gezi. Park in Istanbul in 2013. Although Erdogan requested that the ten diplomats be designated as personae non gratae, the Danish Foreign Minister, Jeppe Kofod, stated that the ministry had not yet received an official request.

New connections come to light in Danish dividend tax scandal
The recently released Pandora Papers reveal that three Americans – Jerome Lhote, Matthew Stein and Luke McGee, who risk up to 12 years in prison for defrauding the Danish treasury of 1.1 billion in dividend tax refunds – had previously collaborated with the British businessman Sanjay Shah. Shah is the main suspect in a separate case where DKK 12.7 billion in dividend tax refunds was stolen from the Danish treasury between 2012 and 2015. In 2012, Lhote and Stein ran Argre Management, a company owned by businessman Alan Quasha. McGee, who also worked for Quasha, later became their business partner. The three collaborated briefly with Shah before going solo to acquire the German institution North Channel Bank and Choice Bank in Belize, where the money was subsequently sent. Quasha, who was instrumental in rescuing Choice Bank in 2018 and who is responsible for connecting the four men, denies having knowledge of or benefiting from either the dividend scandal.

Foreign Minister meets with African colleagues in Rwanda
At the end of October, the Danish Foreign Minister, Jeppe Kofod, attended the EU-African Union (AU) Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, where climate change and the green transition were at the top of the agenda ahead of COP26. Migration, digitization and recovery of COVID-19 were also discussed, and Kofod has planned follow-up bilateral talks with the Foreign Ministers of South Africa, Kenya and Rwanda.

Jomfruøen’s travel council seeks to attract Danish visitors
The US Virgin Islands Tourism Commissioner, Joseph Boschulte, has visited Copenhagen to meet a number of Danish stakeholders as part of the department’s strategic goal of strengthening ties with the Scandinavian country. The USVI team met with tour operators, members of the media and other key partners in Copenhagen ahead of the White House’s lifting of COVID-19 travel restrictions for fully vaccinated European and other international visitors from 8 November. Cruise holidays to the Virgin Islands are popular with Danish travelers.

Danish company in court to sell fuel to the Syrian regime
The Danish fuel suppliers Dan-Bunkering and Bunker Holding are accused of supplying 172,000 tonnes of diesel to the Syrian regime worth DKK 648 million, Bagmandspoliti claims. The fuel was shipped by Russian tankers from Turkey, Greece and Cyprus to buyers in the port city of Banias in Syria. Keld Rosenbæk Demant, the manager of the companies in question, insists that he was not involved in the trades. The verdict from a series of court hearings is expected in mid-December.

Danish warship sent to the police in the Gulf of Guinea
On Sunday, the warship Esbern Snare sailed towards the Gulf of Guinea to increase ship security in the pirate-infested area for about six months. Navy assets include a helicopter, special operations forces and a contingent of military police. The Gulf of Guinea is one of the most risky areas for civilian shipping – a problem for Denmark, which is the world’s fifth largest shipping nation. Up to 40 Danish ships sail in the bay every day.

Stations planned for future metro between Copenhagen and Malmö
A planned driverless Øresund metro between Malmö and Copenhagen will probably start more metro development in Malmö. Two stations will be installed in Västra Mamnen and one near Malmö C – although exact locations are still unconfirmed. Extensions to Värnhem or Södervärn are also on the table, according to a new report from Malmö City. A future metro journey to Sweden takes 20 minutes, and the route is connected to the existing Copenhagen Metro on northeastern Amager.

Source: The Nordic Page


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