diplomacy

Of the world’s seven billion people, about 2.4 billion have access, in some way, to the Internet. The ability to connect many-to-many has led to some remarkable events and phenomena in recent years. The tools did not cause the Arab Spring, but they did allow for better organizing, amplification of messages, and the ability to show the world what was happening minute-by-minute, tweet-by-tweet.

Recently, CCTV aired a special program about Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Europe. The program was even given a grandiose title: “A Bridge Between China and Europe.” China’s media continues to play up the success of Xi’s first visit to Europe.

This month, Brazil marks a particularly grim moment in its history. Fifty years ago, the country’s military took power in a coup that ushered in two decades of brutal dictatorship. President Dilma Rousseff, who as a young leftist guerrilla fighting the generals was jailed and tortured, marked the occasion with a speech at Rio de Janeiro’s Galeão airport earlier this month.

Poland’s foreign minister, Radoslaw “Radek” Sikorski, has been intimately involved in the Ukraine crisis, including in the negotiation of an agreement in February that then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych walked away from, further fueling the Maidan protest.

Sen. Ted Cruz’s bill to forbid an Iranian diplomat from entering the U.S. got President Barack Obama’s signature Friday, though the president noted he still considers the law “advisory.” The law spearheaded by the typically polarizing Texas Republican was a rare moment of consensus in D.C.: Obama’s sign-off follows unanimous passage in the Senate and House last week.

Former U.S. ambassador Richard Hoagland, a career foreign service officer, spoke candidly at a gay pride conference this week about the difficulties gay diplomats faced in the not-so-distant past.

The United States, Russia, Ukraine and the European Union reached an agreement here on Thursday evening that calls for armed pro-Russian bands to give up the government buildings they have seized in eastern Ukraine and outlines other steps to de-escalate the crisis.

The recent tour of King Mohamed VI of Morocco of a number of African countries was packed with symbolism. It was a reflection of the kingdom's recent drive to expand its economic and political influence across sub-Saharan Africa, and it showed how Morocco makes use of both historic ties in the region and the kingdom's trump card - the spiritual authority of the Moroccan throne.

Pages