middle east

Members of the Saudi government are visiting the US and China. In both countries, they are striving for good relations - and their traveling diplomacy shows that the kingdom is exploring new paths. [...] the crown prince bent over backwards to offer pleasantries, calling Trump a "true friend" of the Arabs and declaring that he did not believe Trump's attempted travel banwas aimed at Muslims. Rather, the crown prince stated, the US simply wanted to protect itself from terrorism.

VOA began radio broadcasting in 1942, to combat Nazi propaganda. Per its charter, it is mandated to “serve as a consistently reliable and authoritative source of news.” Since WWII, it has been the front-edge of America’s informational interface with citizens around the world, particularly those battling dictatorships and tyranny. [...] VOA is the largest public diplomacy program of the United States government and broadcasts in more than 40 languages.

At the embassy level, ambassadors may be viewed as digital gatekeepers. Studies have shown that embassies headed by ambassadors who view digital platforms as an important resource are likely to be active online and to utilize digital tools in innovative ways. Conversely, embassies headed by ambassadors who view digital platforms as a risk are likely to be inactive online.

The fallout from President Trump’s executive orders limiting travel from some Middle Eastern and African countries is having far-reaching implications for U.S. tourism. It is not just visitors from the countries targeted by the bans that are souring on U.S. travel; the seven countries included in Trump’s original order in January account for 0.1% of incoming travelers. Rather, an atmosphere of fear at the nation’s airports are scaring off people without the slightest connection to the Muslim world.

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.

San Diego youth will have an opportunity this summer to virtually connect with foreign students who, at one time, were temporarily barred from entering the U.S. Through World Learning's Digital Young Leaders Exchange Program, students in this country will use online tools, including video chats and webinars, to communicate with their counterparts in Iraq. The Middle Eastern country appeared on President Donald Trump’s temporary travel ban but was removed in a later version.

The Kingdom has much to offer Canadian companies, with major social infrastructure projects underway, a vibrant business community, and an increasing openness to foreign direct investment. [...] Based on experience, commercial diplomacy is the key to restore a more balanced relationship with Riyadh, and this, in turn, will better benefit Canadian businesses.

Saudi Arabia aims to promote itself as an attractive touristic destination owing to its diverse landscape and archaeological treasure, currently little known owing to decade-old lack of state interest. In years to come, Riyadh plans to gradually introduce tourist visa to people of all nationalities, with the condition that the visitors will respect the local culture and traditions. Currently, eight million religious tourists visit the country to perform umrah and hajj.

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