diplomatic relations

At a time when Pakistan-US relations are possibly at the lowest ebb for a number of reasons, few people remember or even know of the peak days when a US first lady visited Pakistan and extensively travelled across the country to a rousing welcome by thousands of men, women and children 55 years ago. From Karachi to Lahore, Rawalpindi and Peshawar, people were seen lining the roads and streets, waving, cheering and cherishing their country’s friendship with the United States.

March 22, 2017

When it comes to taking on the world, the two words the Trump administration swears by are “America First.” [...] For Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who until now spent the entirety of his career at ExxonMobil, the challenge he faced on a headline-grabbing trip to Asia was how to translate President Donald Trump’s mandate into a workable foreign policy.

When we think of diplomacy, we may think of talking — people in a room, face to face. But that world of diplomacy is changing and the connected world is playing a much greater role, according to Anne-Marie Slaughter, who worked for the State Department during the Obama administration. Slaughter's new book is called "The Chessboard & the Web: Strategies of Connection in a Networked World." She spoke with us about what it means to be a diplomat in the digital age.

While his boss was goading China over Twitter, new Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has been trying to build a constructive and “results-oriented” relationship with the leadership in Beijing. And though his warnings about the possibility of eventual military action over North Korea have raised hackles here, Tillerson received a warm welcome from China’s president on Sunday.

It’s called “panda diplomacy” and it’s thought to have started as early as the Tang Dynasty in the 7th century when Empress Wu Zeitan sent a pair of bears (believed to be pandas) to Japan. This Chinese policy of sending pandas as diplomat gifts was revived in 1941, on the eve of the United States entering World War II, when Beijing sent two cuddly black-and-whites to the Bronx Zoo as a “thank you” gift. 

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrives in Asia on Wednesday for his first foreign trip with almost no fanfare. He’s travelling on a “small plane” with “a modest footprint,” says a spokesman. He’s bringing along just one reporter and will hold only one brief press conference during his planned stops in Japan, South Korea and China. It’s a far cry from the splash Hillary Clinton made in February 2009 on her first trip abroad as secretary of state, following a similar itinerary through Asia. 

A closer look at this situation, which still stands today, shows a lack of Moroccan public relations campaigns in the region, a meager performance by the Moroccan embassy in Mexico City and a poor understanding of the foreign affairs “machineries” in Latin America. It did not take me long to realize, with the help of a Mexican PRI Senator [...] that the Polisario has indeed a diplomatic “machinery” in Central and South America.

Ankara and Moscow are doing a diplomatic two step together. Conspicuously left out in the cold in this dancing duo, are two major power blocks which traditionally Turkey considers vital to its security needs: The United States and the European Union. The meetings between the Russian President Putin and his Turkish counterpart indicates a willingness on both sides to further consolidate economic, diplomatic and most importantly, and no doubt, also military ties.

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