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“During challenging times like these, there’s no replacement for people-to-people diplomacy – it’s something governments just can’t do,” observes Joanne Bouldt Sanders, former mayor of Sonoma and co-Chairman of Sonoma Sister City International. [...] “Organizations like Sister Cities International connect communities around the world, bringing people from different cultures together, allowing them to understand each other better and develop and build positive relationships"
How can public diplomacy chart a new way forward for U.S.-China relations?
Diplomats can only do so much to bridge the divides between their countries and the rest of the world. Good bilateral relations start with strong ties at the governmental level. But as public servants, diplomats operate under significant restraints and there is always a layer of formality that may or may not ever melt. [...] This Sept. 11 marks 60 years since President Dwight D. Eisenhower launched a citizen diplomacy campaign that was initially aimed at improving ties with Japan and Germany through a sister cities initiative.
The Shaq show came to Havana on Sunday as NBA great Shaquille O'Neal put on a basketball clinic for local youngsters, becoming the latest emissary for American outreach to the people of Cuba. The 2016 Hall of Fame inductee and four-time NBA champion led star-struck kids in layup drills and coached scrimmages while onlookers cheered from the sidelines, part of a U.S. State Department-sponsored visit to foster people-to-people exchanges with Cuban citizens.
There have been complaints by Nigerians on how they are treated when seeking visas.' In this regard, he made two important points. First is that the South African President 'has indicated that Nigeria and South Africa need to intervene by making it easier for our nationals to have visas to our two countries [...] that both countries 'have totally moved from political diplomacy to economic diplomacy and to promote this economic diplomacy, there is need for smooth movement of people between our two countries.'