iran

Iran has sent planes full of food to Qatar and will continue to send more each day as the blockaded nation weathers its diplomatic crisis, Iranian officials said this weekend. Tehran says it will send another 100 tons of fruit and vegetables every day to Qatar, which relies on imports from neighboring countries for much of its food supplies and is facing shortages after its powerful neighboring countries cut off economic and diplomatic ties. 

Alan Gilbert has chosen to celebrate the close of his tenure as music director of the New York Philharmonic on a political note, with a program called “A Concert for Unity.” BY inviting musicians from countries including Iran and Israel to join Philharmonic members on the stage on Thursday-Saturday, Mr. Gilbert is clearly trying to steer against the divisive winds coming out of Washington. But he is also interesting himself into a tradition of bridge-building musical events that reach back to the aftermath of World War II. Here are five memorable moments of musical diplomacy: 

Two unprecedented events this week shook one of the wealthiest regions on earth to its core. It underscores the urgency for diplomacy and a global engagement suited to the 21st century. They also emphasize the need to end egotistic "140-word" foreign policy strategies and bullying of nations. [...]  In what’s becoming a new norm in diplomatic exchanges, however, UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Bin Mohammad Gargash, “tweeted” that "Qatar’s seeking protection from two non-Arab states 'Turkey and Iran' is tragic and comical."

President Trump set off a firestorm Tuesday when he conducted diplomacy-by-tweet. The President took credit for the decision by Saudi Arabia and several other Arab countries to cut off ties with Qatar, an ally that is home to a large base with as many as 10,000 U.S. military personnel. The tweets were a huge surprise given that a day earlier, top U.S. officials had sought to downplay the dispute. “During my recent trip to the Middle East I stated that there can no longer be funding of Radical Ideology. Leaders pointed to Qatar - look!” Trump tweeted Tuesday.

Iran’s Cultural Attaché in Moscow Reza Maleki stressed the need to further promote relations between the Islamic Republic and the Russian Federation, saying enhanced cultural ties between the two nations will pave the ground for closer political relations. “Relations between Iran and Russia should not be confined to the level of the governments,” Maleki said in a meeting about cultural relations and their impact on political ties held at the University of Tehran’s Faculty of World Studies.

Any peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will require dialogue, mutual trust, and understanding between Israelis and Palestinians. The "Palestine in Hebrew" Facebook channel demonstrates that the Palestinian government in the West Bank is attempting to foster such dialogue and understating with Israeli citizens. While the profile is but one element in a larger Palestinian outreach initiative, it exemplifies how digital tools, and social media, can be used by governments to overcome the limitations of traditional diplomacy and practice public diplomacy. 

At the stringing table, most of the women wear hijabs. Natives of Syria, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan, they have been in the U.S. less than two years, arriving in Houston through Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston's refugee services program. They speak Arabic, Farsi, Pashto or Dari. Which is to say, they sometimes speak with each other only slightly better than they can talk with me.

In the meeting, also attended by deputy culture ministers of Iran and Slovokia, Salehi Amiri said agreement to hold cultural week, active participation in art and book fairs, cinematic cooperation and cultural diplomacy are among the provisions of the MoU signed between the two countries.

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