Today: April 09, 2009

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Diplomat Today

Dear readers,
Nothing can be done about it the petals are falling. Chairman Mao Zedong wrote that short line with his failing hand shortly before his death. The then feeble leader, who was unable to speak, met a delegation from the Philippines. It turned out to be the last delegation he met in his life. It included Imelda, the spouse of President Ferdinand Marcos, and their two daughters, who were as beautiful as their mother, the former Miss Philippines. The line quoted did not relate to the Sino-Philippine relations that had just begun improving. The Great Helmsman, a known connoisseur of female beauty, most likely reminiscing.

The womens role in diplomacy goes back many centuries. Dynastic marriages helped improve interstate relations, set up coalitions, and unleash or stop wars. Suffice it to recall examples from Russian history: the Byzantine Emperors (unsuccessful) marriage proposition to Olga, the Kievan princess; the (successful) marriage of Anna, the daughter of Yaroslav the Wise, and the king of France; the marriages of Russian tsars of the Romanov dynasty to German princesses. Wise, powerful, and beautiful female rulers went down in the history of international relations. Just think of the English queens Elizabeth and Victoria, the Russian Empress Catherine the Great, and Argentines Eva Duarte de Peron. Nowadays, the female heads of state, government and foreign ministries are weaving the fine fabric of international relations no worse than their fellow male colleagues. The female ambassadors, the ambassadors spouses, the female employees of the Russian Foreign Ministry and the diplomatic missions of the Russian capital add color to the diplomatic landscape.

This issue of Diplomat is devoted to women. May they be intelligent, beautiful, energetic and loving not only on the March 8 holiday but all the other days of the year as well!

March 2009  |  Read It

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