The German Chancellor had already been honored with a military reception in Luxembourg, with the Grand Duke and Duchess, where she visited the birthplace of Robert Schuman, one of the founders of the European Union. She then traveled to Brussels, Belgium, where she received the honorary doctorate from the Universities of Leuven and Ghent for her "diplomatic and political efforts to develop the political strength of Europe, and to defend the values that allow our continent to find unity in diversity." Making history: today KU Leuven and @ugent confer an honorary doctorate on German Chancellor Angela #Merkel. Follow us via #HonDocMerkel pic.twitter.com/xflQnRro0j — University of Leuven (@LeuvenU) 12 January 2017 Merkel is standing for a fourth term as German chancellor amid a crisis over immigration that has split the EU, rocked the Schengen borderless zone, seen … [Read more...] about Merkel Picks Up Diplomacy Award as EU Struggles to Find Unity
The Indian government has announced that groups of men and women from the Maldives are visiting the southern city of Chennai to receive intensive cricket training. The Indian embassy in Male said that India is “looking forward to working with the Cricket Board of Maldives." “A week-long level training course for Maldivian coaches concluded on 14 November. As a next step, Board of Control for Cricket in India umpire coaches led by Shavir Tarapore will conduct level-2 umpiring courses for 23 local umpires from 19-26 November,” the Indian embassy in Male stated in an official statement. The cricket diplomacy with the Maldives started in March this year when Male requested India's help to build a cricket stadium on the island. Sensing the opportunity to use its soft diplomacy to turn around the poor bilateral relations during the Abdulla Yameen government, India accepted the request and announced the initiative during a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the … [Read more...] about Soft Diplomacy: India Begins A New Game in Indian Ocean By Training The Maldives Cricket Team
This article first appeared on the Council on Foreign Relations site. Year's end is a time for taking stock, counting successes, and assessing failures. It is also time for remembering those who are no longer with us. Here are ten Americans who died in 2017 who through their vision, service, intellect, or courage helped shape U.S. foreign policy. They will be missed. Benjamin Barber (b. 1939) was a political scientist who wrote Jihad vs. McWorld among other books. Born and raised in Greenwich Village in New York City, Barber earned his undergraduate degree from Grinnell College and his Ph.D. from Harvard. He taught for three decades at Rutgers University, before joining the faculty at the University of Maryland in 2001. Jihad vs. McWorld was released in 1995, but it didn't become a bestseller until after September 11, 2001. It argued that two competing forces were shaping the world and threatening democracy— retribalization and globalization. As Barber later put it : … [Read more...] about What Links My Ding-a-Ling to Ping Pong Diplomacy?
Tillerson says the U.S. has dropped Pyongyang a few lines. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images The Trump administration is communicating directly with the North Korean government, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson confirmed on Saturday. It was the first time anyone in the White House has acknowledged such efforts, though Tillerson did not say whether the regime in Pyongyang had been receptive to the communications. The U.S. is “probing” to see if North Korean leader Kim Jong Un would be open to negotiations, Tillerson said, “so stay tuned.” (Update: The answer appears to be no, if the U.S. is still asking the country to get rid of its nukes.) “We ask, ‘Would you like to talk?’ We have lines of communications to Pyongyang. We’re not in a dark situation, a blackout. We have a couple, three, channels open to Pyongyang, we can talk to them, we do talk to them,” Tillerson explained, adding that he thought that the … [Read more...] about Trump Administration Trying Direct Diplomacy With North Korea to Defuse Nuclear Crisis
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea said Thursday planned U.S.-South Korean military drills would amount to “throwing a wet blanket over the spark” of nuclear negotiations that are “on the verge of extinction.” Since the start of the nuclear talks last year, the U.S. and South Korea have cancelled or scaled back their regular military drills to create space for diplomacy. But North Korea still sees the drills’ intent as an invasion rehearsal and often has reacted to the exercises strongly, especially when talks are stalled. On Thursday, Kwon Jong Gun, a roving ambassador for the North, accused the U.S. of trying to resume joint aerial drills with South Korea next month. Kwon said its patients was nearing the limit and North Korea “will never remain an onlooker” to “the reckless military moves.” The Vigilant Ace drills had involved hundreds of South Korean and U.S. aircraft before the allies suspended them last year. South … [Read more...] about North says US-S. Korea drills ‘throw wet blanket’ on talks