Israel seems to be backing off an effort to appoint settler-advocate Dani Dayan as ambassador to Brazil. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu publicly announced that he was naming Dayan—who has “devoted” much of his life to “expanding the Jewish presence in…disputed historic places across the West Bank”—in a Tweet in early August.
After efforts to remold security policy and gain traction in diplomacy toward Asia and dealing with wartime history disputes in 2015, Japanese policymakers face even greater challenges on the international stage in the coming year.
Japan and South Korea have very close alliances with the United States. They also have had diplomatic relations with each other for 50 years, not to mention considerable trade back and forth during that time. At a popular level, many Japanese are wild about Korean bulgogi and soap operas while many Koreans love Japanese sushi and anime. That doesn’t mean, however, that the two countries are particularly close.
Terming Prime Minister Narendra Modi's sudden stopover at Lahore to greet his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on his birthday as innovative diplomacy, home minister Rajnath Singh said: "It is our Indian culture that for the first time during swearing in of the new government, head of states of various countries were invited."
Players as pawns in political games is not always a bad thing. Major League Baseball is about to visit Cuba on a "Goodwill" tour that marks the Dec 17 meeting last year between Barack Obama and Raul Castro when the two presidents agreed to start to "normalise" the relationship between the countries.
We are on the threshold of an historic opportunity to mend a badly broken relationship with our Caribbean neighbor, but Cuba is much more than a neighbor - she is a long lost relative, a source of wonderful culture, incredible artists and musicians, and several civic examples that we could all learn from. She could also become one of our greatest allies in the Western Hemisphere.
In Southeast Asia, President Barack Obama has taken a softer tone on human rights and corruption in a part of the world that rights groups claim is rife with abuses.
The Russian police force has offered to send France a puppy to replace the dog killed during an anti-terrorist operation in Paris. It's a symbolic gesture perhaps indicating a shift in how Russia wants to interact with Europe.