Meridian Reads: Here’s what’s up



You know what day it is, you know what time it is. Unless you’re still feeling groggy from your weekend rest, then we’ll fill you in. It’s Sunday, and it’s time for #MeridianReads. Let’s dive in…

Iran ready for any scenario, from confrontation to diplomacy

Publication: Reuters | By Parisa Hafezi

  • A senior Iranian official said Iran was ready for all scenarios involving the US, but added that the US “could not afford another war in the Middle East.”
  • The official also said any conflict in the region will have  “unimaginable consequences.” Yikes.
  • Washington has sent additional military forces to the Middle East (B-52 bombers, Patriot missiles, you know the drill), in a show of force against threats from Iran.
  • The official noted that Iran does not  want a war in the region. So that’s… positive?
  • Overall, tensions have increased after attacks in Saudi Arabia and on vessels off the coast of the UAE were claimed by Iran-aligned Houthis in Yemen. So, stay tuned.

Diplomacy is the only way out of the Libyan crisis

Publication: African News | By APO Group

  • There’s a crisis in Libya.
  • One idea for ending it? A halt in the ongoing violence and a spark in dialogue between warring sides, which would minimize the space for terrorists. Easier said than done.
  • During an exchange of views with the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Libya, Ghassan Salamé, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion, Carmelo Abela, expressed his disappointment that a council meeting focused on the crisis (he says this undermined the future of the Libyan people), when they could have discussed the Libyan National Reconciliation Conference.
  • “We call for a comprehensive and durable ceasefire, followed by an agreement on modalities to return to the negotiating table. In the long-term, diplomacy is the only way forward,” said Minister Abela.
  • Things aren’t looking great, but Libya does have Malta in its corner.

We asked ambassadors where they eat when they’re homesick

Publication: Washington Post | By Richard Morgan

  • Remember in college when you were basically sustained by ramen and frozen pizza and all you dreamed about was your mom’s homemade Chicken Parmesan? Maybe that was just me. Either way, everyone feels homesick, even ambassadors. One way to cure that? Food.
  • The Washington Post asked dozens of ambassadors based in DC what they eat when they’re missing the taste of home. The answers were, um, surprising.
  • Francisco Santos, ambassador of Colombia, says he’s “a freak for Taco Bell, combo #1: a burrito supreme and hard-shell taco with Diet Pepsi and the red packet of salsa — fire, obviously.” Obviously.
  • Fernando Oris de Roa, ambassador of Argentina, reaches for calf’s liver and onions at La Chaumiere.
  • Daniel Mulhall, ambassador of Ireland, heads down to Georgetown’s famous Martin’s Tavern for boiled bacon and cabbage.
  • Ikea isn’t just for furniture, it’s also where Swedish ambassador Karin Olofsdotter goes for her weekly candy fix — her household consumes two pounds of candy every Saturday. Now that’s a diet I can get behind.

Fashion Diplomacy: The Power of a Pantsuit

Publication: Thrive Global | By Diana Madibekova

  • Come ON, you know we can’t go a week without touching on fashion diplomacy.
  • The author of this piece believes that in a professional setting, your #OOTD is not the most important thing, but it does have influence on how you’re perceived. We can’t argue with that.
  • Madibekova has spoken to various ambassadors, charge d’affaires and public figures that she says contributed to her understanding of what fashion diplomacy is and how to nail it. Enter: The Pantsuit.
  • Her advice?  Having a pantsuit of a dark color and a blouse of a light one will fit most events. HRC agrees.

That’s it for this week, folks. We’ll see you next Sunday.