The Corona Diplomacy

Dr. Ali Nazli

“Corona Diplomacy”, or “Distance Diplomacy”; which is the term we can label it with, during the continuation of the crisis and outbreak of Coronavirus pandemic ,which is expected to extend for quite a time and nobody can predict when it is going to end. This kind of diplomacy is going to be the best choice for all politicians, countries, organizations, and the United Nations organization in the next phase, with the current travel restrictions, movement , and the fear of coronavirus contagion and the dangerous threat that affects politicians, leaders, diplomats and national and international representatives of being infected with the virus. Many conferences, meetings, and gatherings were cancelled due to this pandemic; which postponed and will postpone the vital and political interests of countries and the international organizations in the absence of direct meetings and dialogues. Diplomacy is considered the behavior that individuals take to make some changes on decisions and policies made by governments and countries through ways started by direct dialogue and public and unannounced meetings, the types and classifications of diplomacy have expanded to several concepts, names and types , for example; Classic Diplomacy, Multilateral Diplomacy, Cultural Diplomacy, Parliamentary Diplomacy, Diplomatic Conferences, and the Formal and Public Diplomacy. All of these kinds of diplomacy aim for providing a common divisor towards mutual understanding and coexistence on different levels. For instance, the Formal Diplomacy from the political side which takes place through formal arrival delegations; where political and peaceful agreements take place with its’ own protocols, and where solutions are being developed through meetings and direct dialogues in order to intervene in conflict, violence ,and war zones. These diplomacies pursue its’ missions till all conflicts and tensions are resolved, throughout following up implementation of mechanisms and points of agreements. Maybe this new diplomacy, which we might call this expression “The Corona Diplomacy”, or “Distance Diplomacy”; which means practicing diplomacy missions in a new and unusual form, which means not practicing it by sitting in direct dialogues and this kind of diplomacy techniques, and that is what is being implemented and practiced recently to follow up the negotiations between the United States and Taliban, where Qatar practiced this type of diplomacy and for the very first time, and Qatar is the mediator and facilitator for negotiations between the two sides. Qatar stared its mediation between the two sides through the classical diplomacy and through open and unannounced meetings, then by using dialogue and direct meetings in the historical agreement on February 29th,2020 in Doha, after that a direct communication took place between president Trump and Taliban Deputy Chief, and it’s results which ended decades of non-stop conflict between the US and Taliban. After that came the negotiation sessions to achieve an agreement on implementation of the points of the agreement of exchange of prisoners act between Taliban and Afghan government which took place during the coronavirus pandemic outbreak , which impacted policies, visions ,concepts and tools of all levels of everything and politics and diplomacy in particular. This session took place on Sunday March 23, 2020 through Video conference , where Zalmay Khalidzad , Secretary of State in the Trump administration in Afghanistan ;whom mentioned earlier that Qatar and the US facilitated distant technical direct talks between Afghanistan Government and Taliban Movement on release of prisoners. This pattern of diplomacy will be the dominant feature of any meeting might take place in the future, and any between all countries, whether in crisis management and international arbitration and even meetings and gatherings in most of forums and international institutions and organizations, and even some countries might use it their meetings like parliamentary, ministers and municipalities meetings and all  types of meetings.

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