- Syrian Kurds hire their first Washington lobbyist; Honduras pushes back on COVID-19 graft allegations; Quebec leader talks to Maine governor amid controversial energy push
The Washington office of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Council has hired its first lobbyist amid concerns over US sanctions and continued fallout from Turkey’s invasion in October, Foreign Lobby Report has learned.
The mission has hired longtime Kurdish advocate Ayal Frank and his firm AF International for the next six months to lobby Congress and the Donald Trump administration. Several issues reportedly factored into the group’s decision, including US sanctions on Damascus and Turkish attacks.
Read more from our interview with the US representative of the SDC in Washington, Sinam Sherkany Mohamad, here.
Lobbyists for Honduras are working to reassure US policymakers about the government’s response to the COVID-19 epidemic amid lingering allegations of corruption.
Leonel Teller-Sanchez, a registered agent for Honduras via Gus West Government Affairs, promoted President Juan Orlando Hernandez‘s promise to crack down on questionable spending earlier this month, according to a new lobbying filing with the Department of Justice. The president’s remarks were shared via a tweet directed at key members of Congress and the Donald Trump administration.
The push comes as transparency advocates in Honduras are raising concerns that the government may have bought overpriced mobile hospitals to deal with the virus from a US intermediary in Orlando. Read the story here.
NEW FOREIGN LOBBYING FILINGS (FARA)
Australia: Destination New South Wales received $182,000 from its head office to promote the state in the first half of the year.
Canada: The Quebec Government Office helped organize several contacts with New England government officials during the first half of the year. Quebec Premier Francis Legault discussed trade with Maine Gov. Janet Mills in June; Quebec’s minister for international relations discussed tourism and trade with economic development officials in Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire; and Quebec delegate to New England Marie-Claude Francoeur spoke with Dan Burgess, the director of the governor’s Energy Office, in May. The outreach comes as Quebec public utility Hydro-Quebec is engaged in a contentious political fight over plans to build a transmission line through the Maine woods to provide dam power to the New England electric grid (more on that here and here).
South Korea: South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy paid Washington Bluetext $25,000 in the first half of the year to post blog posts “relating to trade issues relevant to the Ministry.”