‘Holding public interaction on social media part of core function of diplomacy’

Published On: May 23, 2019 10:22 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, May 23: Notwithstanding the criticisms from various quarters and objection from Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), US Embassy in Kathmandu has indicated that it will go ahead with its plan to hold public interaction on social media. 

Issuing a press statement on Wednesday, US embassy in Kathmandu said its plan to hold public interaction in social media with Ambassador falls within a core function of diplomacy. 

“A core function of diplomacy is to engage with people, understand them and their priorities, and build connections with them.  We have been doing this in Nepal for 72 years; it is what diplomats do, it is who we are,” said the Embassy statement. 

US embassy in Kathmandu plans to hold a program titled 'Rajdut Sanga Guff Gaff (chit chat with ambassador)' in social media platforms every Monday. This will be a weekly interaction with the Embassy's four million followers on various social media platforms, according to the announcement made earlier by the Embassy.

Ambassador Randy Berry's planned interaction on social media has drawn mixed reaction from Nepalis shortly after the envoy made the announcement for the same on Twitter and Facebook on Monday. While former diplomats and foreign policy experts in Nepal have taken strong exception to the plan, MoFA also expressed concern over the plan of Ambassador Berry's announcement to hold the public interaction in social media. 

MoFA has maintained that ambassadors are not supposed to hold such events without prior approval of the host governments in existing diplomatic practices. Foreign affairs experts and retired diplomats argue that ambassador's public interaction on social media is against the diplomatic practices and norms prescribed by the Vienna Convention

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