ASTANA – Kazakhstan and the U.S. engaged in a bit of “treatplomacy” on Sept. 18, with Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Erlan Idrissov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry swapping tweets about the Eurasian nation’s iconic giant apples.
Speaking at the Artisan Enterprise: The New Startup Economy forum on Sept. 10 in the U.S. State Department, Kerry showed a souvenir felt apple he had just been given. “This is a souvenir of Kazakhstan – of Almaty, to be precise – and it’s woven, actually, with the local wool. And these are giant apples which apparently Almaty produces, and coming from New England, where our fall harvesting of apples is critical, I’m going to show them this and say, ‘Get your act together, guys.’ It’s beautiful.”
Following the remarks, Idrissov hopped on the Twitter account of Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to write to Kerry’s official Twitter account “thank u 4 kind words re apples. As u might have heard apples r indeed from Kazakhstan,” and in a second Tweet, “I look forward to treating you with the real deal here in Kazakhstan soon.”
“Minister Idrissov decided to engage with Secretary Kerry in a little ‘tweapplomacy.’ And why not?” Anuar Zhainakov, press secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said.
Now in addition to “Twiplomacy,” a term for conducting diplomatic conversations on Twitter, comes a sweeter version just for the birthplace of the ancient fruit.
Zhainakov confirmed that a visit from Secretary Kerry was indeed expected “in the near future.”