UAE Press: Social media not the right forum for diplomacy

Thu 09-08-2018 09:20 AM

ABU DHABI, 9th August, 2018 (WAM) — Canada’s Foreign Minister’s attempt at Twitter diplomacy fell flat, the Khaleej Times said, adding that her country is paying for her contempt of the diplomatic process when differences arise between two states.

“We can say with certainty that Twitter activism has become the bane of international relations. US President Donald Trump has led the charge (he must also take the blame for the original sin) by throwing the world into chaos with his early morning messaging that has mocked and ridiculed friend and foe alike.

“Chrystia Freeland, Canadian minister, should have by now realised that nothing is accomplished on the ground when leaders first take to Twitter. Perhaps, she was following Trump’s lead, without realising the consequences that follow such shallow moves. She was naive and jumped the gun when she tweeted about alleged human rights violations in Saudi Arabia while giving short shrift to the subtle art of diplomacy,” the English language daily continued.

It went on to say that Saudi Arabia is a sovereign kingdom and decides what’s best for its people. “Ottawa has no business poking its nose into the affairs of the kingdom, or any country for that matter. There are forums to raise issues, yet the Canadian minister chose to dispense with such diplomatic nuances and common sense by attempting to put pressure on Saudi Arabia over human rights.

Countries must be allowed to undertake reforms at their pace, and the West has an unappealing habit of thrusting its opinions on others,” the local paper added.

“Change takes time and reform does not give citizens the freedom to sow trouble in the name of activism. Every country has the right to maintain order within its borders to secure the lives of people. Social media has often been used by enemy regimes and cyber terrorists to promote hatred and fan disturbances across the world. Even elections are allegedly being rigged and it is shocking to see leaders like Freeland joining the brigade of cyber extremists.

“Leaders like her would be advised to take a step back, or step down from their high horses on social media and indulge in credible discussions on nagging bilateral issues with countries. Shooting your mouth off on social media is akin to shooting yourself in the foot,” the Dubai-based daily concluded.

WAM/Nour Salman


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