Secretary of State John Kerry showed off to the world his subtle diplomatic skills today when he complimented Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on his tie.
“Nice tie, Mr. President,” Kerry said as he, Abbas and President Obama waited for the press to be rolled in to witness a pre-meeting photo op at the Muqata Presidential Compound in Ramallah.
No, this is not satire.
It takes knowledge not only of international relations and Palestinian sensibilities but a real sense of fashion to come up with such a line. I can’t imagine than any of the world’s great diplomats, from Talleyrand to Kissinger, would have been able to produce such pitch-perfect insincere flattery.
There was no word on the response from Abbas, who was not really known as a style icon until today. No doubt JC Penney and The Tie Barn will be sold out of Mr. Abbas’s neckpiece within hours.
So Kerry, who recently dreamed up the country of Kyrzakhstan, is off to a good start solving the Middle East peace crisis.