Diplomacy is the art and practice of conducting negotiations between representatives of states. It usually refers to the conduct of international relations through the intercession of professional diplomats with regard to a full range of topical issues. Diplomacy entails influencing the decisions and conduct of foreign governments and officials through dialogue, negotiation, and other nonviolent means.
Diplomacy is the main instrument of foreign policy, which consists of the broader goals and strategies that guide a state's interactions with the rest of the world. International treaties, agreements, alliances, and other manifestations of foreign policy are usually negotiated by diplomats prior to endorsement by national politicians. Diplomats may also help shape a state's foreign policy in an advisory capacity.
Since the early 20th century, diplomacy has become increasingly professionalized, being carried out by accredited career diplomats supported by staff and diplomatic infrastructure, such as consulates and embassies. Subsequently, the term "diplomats" has also been applied to diplomatic services, consular services and foreign ministry officials more generally.
Prince Klemens Wenzel von Metternich (15 May 1773 – 11 June 1859) was a German-born Austrian politician and statesman and one of the most important diplomats of his era, serving as the Foreign Minister of the Holy Roman Empire and its successor state, the Austrian Empire, from 1809 until the liberal revolutions of 1848 forced his resignation. One of his first tasks was to engineer a détente with France that included the marriage of Napoleon to the Austrian Arch-Duchess Marie Louise. Soon after, however, he engineered Austria's entry into the War of the Sixth Coalition on the Allied side, signed the Treaty of Fontainebleau that sent Napoleon into exile and led the Austrian delegation at the Congress of Vienna which divided post-Napoleonic Europe between the major powers. Under his guidance, the "Metternich system" of international congresses continued for another decade as Austria aligned herself with Russia and, to a lesser extent, Prussia. His supporters credit him with presiding over the "Age of Metternich", when international diplomacy helped prevent major wars in Europe.
Juan Guaidó appoints Leopoldo Lopez to form a shadow cabinet in preparation for taking control of the Venezuelan government. Lopez is currently in refuge in the Spanish embassy of Venezuelan capital Caracas after being freed from house arrest by dissident military during the 30 April uprising, which may have removed a bar placed on him from engaging in political activity. (VOA)