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Rasd Centre for Studies Issues Report on Bahraini Diplomacy on Twitter

2020-08-21 - 10:53 p

Bahrain Mirror: Rasd Centre for Studies and Political Research issued a report entitled, "Twitter Diplomacy", which includes an analytical study of the content of a selected sample of the tweets by former Bahraini Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa (2005-2020), using the "observation" tool, with regards to six countries having prominent issues based on discord and differences, specifically during the past four years (2016-2019), namely: Iran, Lebanon, Iraq, Qatar, Yemen, and Palestine.

The report comprised a brief historical overview of the Bahraini Ministry of Foreign Affairs, reviewing the organizational structure of the ministry during former Minister Khalid bin Ahmed's tenure, in addition to the categorization of its employees. The report also tackled the foundations and principles on which the Bahraini Kingdom's foreign policy is based, as well as Bahraini diplomacy, touching on Bahrain's diplomatic representation abroad, along with unilateral diplomatic representation in the country, according to classification founded on a number of observations.

The report also included an introductory overview on digital diplomacy in general, and in Bahrain in particular by highlighting the extent to which the Ministry uses digital media sites or outlets, mainly Twitter, which has recently become known as "Twitter diplomacy", as the official accounts of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and former Minister Khalid bin Ahmed, pointing out a group of his controversial tweets that were covered by various media outlets at the local and foreign levels.

In the applied framework for studying the tweets, the content of a sample, totaling 184 tweets, was analyzed from the former minister's Twitter account during the period of 2016-2019. The tweets were related to six countries as follows: Lebanon averaged 45 tweets, Qatar averaged 56 tweets, Yemen averaged 9 tweets, Iran averaged 54 tweets, Iraq averaged 8 tweets, and Palestine averaged 12 tweets. The analysis of the tweets showcased the positions of the former Bahraini FM towards the countries or groups associated with them, also recording the most striking expressions that they included.

The report resulted in several conclusions, the most noteworthy of which is that Khalid bin Ahmed's tweets were of an severe offensive and extremist nature against certain countries and groups, and sometimes included terms that go against public decency and diplomatic principles. It emphasized the dependency of Bahraini political positions on the stances of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, since they are among the most prominent Gulf states that support Bahrain financially.

The report further concluded that the tweets contradicted the declared official principles and foundations of the foreign policy of the Kingdom of Bahrain at the Gulf, Arab and international levels, hence contributing to sparking a number of political and diplomatic crises, not to mention public reactions locally and abroad. At the end of the report, a number of recommendations were made for the former minister, to enlighten him as he assumes a new position as an advisor to the king on diplomatic affairs, as well as for the new minister, Abdul Latif Al-Zayani, so that he would steer clear from the mistakes of his predecessor.

It is worth noting that Rasd Centre was established in the British capital London at the end of 2019. Its work is based on conducting studies and research related to the Gulf at all political, social and economic levels and other levels as well.

Last May, Rasd issued an analytical study on the Bahraini authorities' Ramadan speeches (1440H-2019). The Centre also issued a report assessing the performance of the legislative authority in the Kingdom of Bahrain during the first session of the fifth legislative term (December 2018-May 2019) entitled, "Lost in the Orbit of Power".


Arabic Version