#AskIraq: Diplomacy on Twitter

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

The new ambassador from Iraq to the U.S., @FailyLukman, is also new to Twitter. He joined Twitter on September 6, and on the following day flew to Baghdad — and documented the flight and his arrival back home, on Twitter.

Upon his return, Ambassador Faily held his first Twitter town hall to discuss conditions in Iraq and what he witnessed during his visit. Several hours before it began, he tweeted to inform people of the coming Q&A and to encourage them to use the hashtag #AskIraq for their questions.

He started the event at 8 am Eastern Time:

The Twitter audience wasn’t shy, and neither was the ambassador, with the first question and corresponding answer on how Iran affects the U.S.-Iraq relationship:

Over the course of the next hour, the newly-minted ambassador took numerous questions on policies ranging from international business to rebuilding Iraq.

To connect with the audience on a different level, he also answered some personal questions. Mr. Faily is a marathon runner, as he notes in his Twitter profile, which brought on questions about his next race:

He also let the Twitter community learn more about his background and life prior to being ambassador:

While acknowledging a tendency to be long-winded…

…the ambassador also recognized the power of the Twitter platform for engagement and conversation, as well as its potential for changing diplomacy in a digital world.

Have you seen other innovative uses of Twitter? Email us at [email protected].