ABU DHABI, 29th April, 2016 (WAM)–The UAE is imbued with values, ideals and ideas that should be exchanged and disseminated worldwide, the U.S. official has said.

Richard Stengel, U.S. Under-Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs was delivering a lecture entitled: “Public Diplomacy and the role of Social Media” to Zayed University students.

It was attended by Dr. Riad Abdul Latif Al Muhaidib, Vice President of Zayed University, Professor Marilyn Roberts, Acting Provost of the University, and a number the administrative and teaching staff, officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and students.

Stengel is a prominent writer and journalist who became the editor of Time Magazine for seven years. He was appointed to his current post in 2013. Stengel authored a number of books, including one he co-authored with Nelson Mandela in writing his biography.

He told the students of Zayed University that their “digital voice” can contribute to shaping the future of the UAE.

The U.S. official emphasised that the social media can be more effective tool in the hands of young Arabs to fight extremism and violence if properly used since it is an effective soft power that can spread the message of tolerance, understanding and modernity on a larger scale, and enhance the impact of their countries in various global arenas.

He pointed out that the public diplomacy is a soft power because its represents the culture of a country and its ideas against rough military force. “Your country is imbued with values, ideas ??and ideals that you should exchange and disseminate worldwide,” Stengel said. He explained that as a diplomat he consistently talks about the values, ideals and ideas adopted by his country.

In response to a remark by one of the students that it is difficult to differentiate between the public diplomacy and propaganda, Stengel said that the two things are different: in public diplomacy, “we use facts based on information, while the propaganda is in an attempt to convince people and influence them by using false or erroneous information.”

WAM/Majok