Our round-up of news, notes, tips, and Tweets exhibiting how public diplomacy effects the world each and every day.
Peter Jones warns against overly optimistic expectations for the U.S.-Iran relationship following the recent highly publicized public diplomacy efforts.
All of this is good news, but it does not mean that the problems have been solved; not by a long shot. We are witnessing the setting of the stage for talks. The talks themselves have yet to begin. There is no reason to expect that they will be quick or easy. Indeed, one of the major problems they may face is expectations, based on the recent public diplomacy, which are too optimistic. [The Globe and Mail]
— The New Turkey (@TheNewTurkey) September 26, 2013
Toomas Hendrik Ilves, the president of Estonia, discussed why he spends hours a day on Twitter with Buzzfeed.
Ilves, 59, is equal parts Old World intellectual and 21st-century tech maven, wearing a bow tie and casually quoting Alexander Pope while discussing the finer points of geopolitics and data systems. In his mind, it all fits together. “There was a period in my life when I was very young that I wrote a sonnet a day just to learn concision in writing,” he says. “If you think about it, a sonnet is 14 lines of 10 syllables, so your Twitter is one degree lower: It’s not 140 syllables, which a sonnet is, it’s 140 characters, so that requires even greater concision.” [Buzzfeed]
— Natalia Tsvetkova (@mazurova1973) September 27, 2013
Comments by a top adviser to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan are creating speculation that Turkey may drop its goal of EU membership.
In his column for the Star daily, titled “Could Turkey be among the leaders?” Yiğit Bulut said that “the West, or the imperial order” drew a roadmap for Turks during both the Ottoman and republican eras to steer the course of events toward its own benefit. Bulut explained his views by giving examples of Turkey’s relations with Germany from the fall of the Ottomans to the present day … “We’re still dealing with those who have wasted our time with nonexistent roadmaps for the last 150 years. If there is a civilization project underway, it will emerge from the richness of our roots and history, not from the EU, which has gone into a process of dissolution,” Bulut said.” [Today’s Zaman]
— APDS (@USC_APDS) September 26, 2013
An Arab satirist is toeing a dangerous line of self-criticism in the Middle East and gaining a large and appreciative audience in the process.
The brilliance of that August piece, Middle East journalists and political junkies say, is who Karl reMarks is: an Arab using American-style satire to bitingly comment on not only what’s so wrong with the region, but why Western perceptions are so dangerous. “The sun is shining all the time, the news is all about the royals and porn is blocked. It’s official: the U.K. has become a Gulf state,” Karl reMarks tweeted in July, after U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron pledged to combat internet pornography and Prince William and Kate Middleton had their first baby. [Wall Street Journal]
— Elina Melgin (@elinamelgin) September 26, 2013
This year, the government of China refrained from publicly celebrating the anniversary of Japan’s World War II surrender, and Japan followed suit by not overdoing the yearly commemoration of the purchase of three disputed islands. Could there be a reengagement between Beijing and Tokyo in the near future?
Both anniversaries have passed with relatively little blowback, setting the stage for a return to engagement for Tokyo and Beijing. Herein lies the rub. While Abe may be sincere in his approach to Xi, he has thus far failed to impress Beijing due his apparent refusal to countenance any concessions on the East China Sea row. Indeed, Abe has repeatedly denied China’s demand that Japan acknowledge there is a dispute out of fear that such a move would embolden Xi to hasten existing plans to change the status quo around the islands. Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga has dismissed plans to “shelve” the row, claiming “there is no dispute, either in historical or legal terms.” [The Diplomat via PDiN]
— Guy Golan (@GuyGolan) September 26, 2013
Dilma Rousseff’s fiery speech at the UN this week positions the Brazilian president to be the public leader of Latin America and civil liberties.
The UN general assembly was an ideal platform for Rousseff to stand up to the US about the spying allegations, says Michael Shifter, president of the Washington-based think tank Inter-American Dialogue. “She seized the high moral ground, which plays well domestically as well as internationally,” Mr. Shifter says. However, Rousseff’s decision to go beyond calling for a new set of internet security rules to lambaste the US highlights an attempt to gain political clout at home and across the region, says Eric Farnsworth, vice-president of the Council of the Americas. [Christian Science Monitor]
— Samuel M. Gebru (@SMGebru) September 26, 2013