“Zobel will not face consequences”

Andreas Zobel broke essential diplomatic rules but will not face sanctions from Berlin, weekly Handelsblatt writes.

Izvor: FoNet

Tuesday, 17.04.2007.

16:57

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“Zobel will not face consequences”

The recommendation is said to originate from Joseph Fischer’s tenure as foreign minister.

The weekly says this meant that Germany abandoned “the outdated concept of a quiet ambassador that only forwards demarches, organizes reception parties, and writes embellished reports about his host state.”

“Zobel managed to break the fundamental rules of his profession since diplomats, unlike politicians, should not make headlines. However, Zobel will not likely face sanctions for his actions,” the weekly argues.

“Even if what Ambassador Zobel told a Forum for International Relations of the European Movement in Serbia came across as too straightforward, it is still highly recommendable that Zobel engages in public discussions,” the weekly said.

Handelsblatt quoted Martin Jegger, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s spokesman, as saying that “German Foreign Ministry explicitly encouraged its ambassadors to engage in public discussions in their host countries.”

“Off course, only one small step separates this position from meddling in the host state’s internal affairs,” Jagger added.

The ideal ambassador is one that speaks the language of the country and takes part in TV programs, the weekly argues, reminding that Zobel was not the first German Ambassador to cause a stir.

The weekly gave an example of the German ambassador to the UK Wolfgang Ischinger, who outspokenly criticized Britain’s participation in military actions in Iraq.

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