Jordan's Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh Conducts A Live Twitter Interview



Photo Courtesy of ForeignMinistry

In what was perhaps a first in the Middle East, Jordan’s Foreign Minister, Nasser Judeh, took live questions on Twitter last night, using the hashtag #QFMJO (Questions for Foreign Minister of Jordan). Considered one of the first Jordanian officials to join the popular microblogging site, Judeh has frequently engaged fellow Jordanian tweeps online, responding to reports, comments, and criticisms all in the span of 140 characters. But on Twitter, Judeh is not the only Jordanian official. Energy Minister, Khaled Irani, the Mayor of Amman, Omar Maani, Minister of ICT, Marwan Juma and, of course, Her Majesty Queen Rania have been active tweeps and have a large following. Recently, Prime Minister Samir Al-Rifai joined Twitter as has Minister of Higher Education, Walid Maani, Minister of State for Mega Projects, Imad Fakhoury,

Judeh fielded some tough questions on foreign policy issues from Jordanian tweeps. Some of the questions centered on foreign perspectives regarding Jordan’s nuclear program, while other questions focused on relations with Turkey, Iraq, and Israel, as well as the foreign ministry’s diplomatic agenda. Questions and answers can all be viewed on the Twitter box below. Khaled, who conducted the session, has a full transcript of it as well.

While Twitter’s 140 character limit can sometimes hinder dialog, here on 7iber we are hosting a continuation of that conversation and keeping it alive online.

What do you think of the minister’s answers? If you missed the event, what questions would you want to pose now? Should more Jordanian officials engage in future Q&A sessions on social media platforms like Twitter?





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  • http://twitter.com/Priapus_D Priapus Dionysis

    Although it was a novel and original touch by his excellency, yet I do not think that such interviews are the best method to communicating information between the officials and the public. The form of the interview as well as the content will not allow the writer to express and the reader to understand what is being debated in an efficient and effective manner.
    Aside from that, I fear that such stunts will amount to nothing but creative campaigns for popularity, which are not bad in themselves but need other venues and channels to cement these bonds and relations between the officials and the public.

  • Mohanned

    Was my comment eaten or stuck in moderation?

  • ramseytesdell

    An interesting exercise in democracy. Now, if only there was an interesting exercise in transparency and accountability too!

    @NasserJudeh Next time I do a training about twitter (today, boys school near duwwar al dakhalia), I expect you'll share your experience with the participants!

  • ramseytesdell

    I don't see any other comments in the system Mohanned. Maybe the proverbial dog ate it?

  • Mohanned

    just posted it for the fourth time..

  • Lina

    7iber doesn't have prior moderation for comments =)

  • MohannedA

    To start off, one is obliged to commend the H.E Nasser Joudeh,Khaled, and everyone who was behind the effort. Moving the debate here where it can grow is a very good step because as much as we love twitter, it is not rich enough for this kind of interaction.

    Moving on the the content and the types of answers we got from the FM. On the nuclear issue, he said:
    ” discussions are ongoing with the US to finalize NCA similar to ones signed with others.”

    This statement is newsworthy because the “similar” treaties like the one the US had with the UAE prohibits the latter from enriching uranium. Does that mean that Jordan is softening it position so as not to jeopardize its relationship with its main donor? Furthermore, what is the position of the government of Jordan if the US offers technical and monetary support for renewable energy project in exchange of giving up our nuclear ambitions? Are such alternative being put on the table by either side?

    On one question I asked about Jordan's leverage on the international level beyond the anti-terror coalition, I was surprised by the tone of the answer. I felt that H.E got very defensive and somehow offended that someone might actually ask such question. H.E's stance and that of mine(I admit) are at odds with where the majority of Jordanians stand on the issue, and that I believe is a failure on the PR front for the consecutive Jordanian governments. The public needs to be engaged and informed. There needs to be an organized effort to win the battle against the forces of evil, and that battle won't be won by secrecy and shoving things under the rug. On the leverage issue, I find it hard to believe that we are as influential as we would like to believe. Our will is not completely ours and our policies are many times not of our own choosing. We, as a country, depend on foreign aid and loans, as such the leverage we like to believe we have is non-existent, at least for the time being, until we have secure dependable water and energy resources in addition to a solid indivisible citizenry that is based on human rights and a new social contract.

    Another question I asked was about the Obama vs Bush doctrine and how they relate to Jordan. I find it hard to believe, as someone immersed by choice in the US politics, that nothing has changed when it comes to the relationship with Jordan. Nentenyahu got his meeting with Obama not long ago, and as an observer, it looked like he won this round as evidenced by the tone of Obama and his personal trip to nentenyahu's car at the back of the white house with all the symbolism that such move carries.

    On a side note, don't you think that by becoming the spokespeople for the Palestinian cause that our government is playing a major part in fulfilling the prophecy of the Israeli right? Don't you think that by looking like the only “reasonable” partner we are pushing our own destiny toward becoming the “caretakers” of the west bank? just a thought.

    Plus, I was somewhat disappointed that the flotilla attack and massacre was referred to as an “incident” by his excellency. Maybe tougher language is needed. I do know that HM, to put it mildly, doesn't like Nentenyahu on the personal level, I also believe that Jordan might find some comfort in believing that many in the current US admin share the same feeling, however, don't you think that it is a bit naive to expect that such shared feeling will have any impact on the US policies in the region? Is Jordan trying to prove to the US that they can find in us a better, or at least an equivalent, partner than Israel? If this is the case then we need serious reevaluation..

    Also, when I asked my question about the Jo ambassador in Israel and what it would take for us to withdraw him from tel-Aviv I was not looking for the reasons to keep him there. Don't you think that our relationship with israel and to a lesser extent with the US has put so much pressure on the relationship between the regime and our citizens? I am not sure for how long this fragile equilibrium can be maintained or how the cost-benefit analysis is calculated!

    Enough for now :)

  • MohannedA

    Not working..Created a Disqus account and still not working..

  • ramseytesdell

    i found your comment. the proverbial spam monkey was flagging it. beyond me why it would do that.

    i'll show that monkey….

  • MohannedA

    I guess I sound spammy..LOL

  • MohannedA

    On a side note..Delete this thread if you could..It is cluttering the whole post..

  • http://twitter.com/Priapus_D Priapus Dionysis

    wow, That was a mouthful! Honestly, I do respectfully disagree with your tone on the arab-israeli conflict.
    Also, though I understand the futility of using twitter as a policy-statements-issuing-tool, still we should not underestimate the empowerment it gives to the public with regard to giving them a simple tool to reach the otherwise unreachable officials.

  • MohannedA

    Can you be more specific please?

  • bambambi

    good job with the questions mohanned, and i wished if anyone would have asked one question that i personally find interesting and fascinating… “how does the foreign embassies train their employees to be effective in campaigning and lobbying foreign governments” and the follow up “what role do foreign embassies play in shaping jordan's foreign policy?”.
    though … i wasn't there :(
    nice point about the NCA especially since they discovered that we are Radioactive over here

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  • http://twitter.com/Shusmo Shusmo

    bambambi, last night was a start, don't stop now tweet your Qs to H. E. @NasserJudeh :-) let me know if you need any help reaching him.

    Peace,

    Khaled

  • MohannedA

    Come to think about it..Maybe that was Jordan's plan all along,make the case then concede and get some other form of support..

    Welcome back :)

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