The Arab Spring encapsulates the failure of public diplomacy whose actions do not speak louder than words. The series of popular uprisings apparently partially resulted from the WikiLeaks exposure of regimes in Tunisia and Egypt and stung the US twice -- once for supporting these autocrats, and again for failing to move quickly and decisively, choosing to remain on the sidelines.
Shortly before her resignation, the Marly Group penned a tribune accusing the government of bungling its handling of revolts in Egypt and Tunisia and claiming that a short-term and amateur approach to foreign policy was destroying French influence.
This is AFRICOM's remarkable activity. For the first time, we are seeing a regional command from a foreign country engaging in dialogue with African states. This is an attempt to undertake a certain kind of public diplomacy, to see the idea that at the end of the day, AFRICOM is not a tool for domination.
China on Monday pledged to promote peace and stability in west Asia and north Africa as a delegation of Saudi Arabian lawmakers visit. Premier Wen called on the two sides to conduct closer high-level contacts, support each other's core interest and major concerns...enhance cultural exchanges and coordination in international organizations and mechanisms such UN and the G20.
Africa – once considered the lab for Chinese companies’ reach outside - is being relegated into a destination with too many risk factors. Safer political destinations and countries closer to home are likely to benefit from the shift. The readjustment has been in the works for some time but the uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya have made those subtle shifts more pronounced.
The revolutionary upheaval in the Southern neighbourhood and the failures of reforms in most of the Eastern neighbourhood are begging for a revised EU approach to the neighbourhood policy (ENP). In March the EU presented some ideas on ‘a partnership for democracy and shared prosperity’ with the Southern Mediterranean.
Much attention has been paid to the crucial role played by new media in promoting and enabling the revolutions that are sweeping across the Arab world. However, Radio Netherlands Worldwide highlights the concurrent surge in importance of mainstream media in the region, and reasons that both were central in the recent Arab uprisings.