February 7, 2018
Will a Franco-British Agreement be a Little Late this Year?
Speak low if you speak camaraderie. Diplomatic gifts date back to the ancient world, and have symbolized friendship, peace, appreciation, or anticipation by the donor. Sometimes the gifts have been unusual, even bizarre. In 1824, the Marquis de Lafayette gave John Adams an alligator. Iran gave Russian President Vladimir Putin two Persian leopards. In 2012, Prime Minister David Cameron gave President Barack Obama a ping-pong table made in China. The Bulgarian president gave President Bush a book titled The Leadership Genius of George W. Bush. Secretary of State John Kerry gave Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov two large potatoes from Idaho. Occasionally a gift has unfortunate consequences. The electoral defeat of Valery Giscard d'Estaing in 1981 was at least partly attributable to his acceptance of a large gift of diamonds from Jean-Bedel, Bokassa I, the self-proclaimed Emperor of the Central African Republic. The most recent and intriguing diplomatic gesture has come...(Read Full Article)