Coffee diplomacy is a term used to describe informal diplomatic meetings or negotiations that take place over a cup of coffee or other casual setting. The idea behind coffee diplomacy is that informal, relaxed settings can help break down barriers and facilitate open communication between negotiators, potentially leading to more productive and positive outcomes.
Coffee diplomacy can take many forms, from impromptu meetings between diplomats in a coffee shop to planned coffee breaks during official negotiations. It is often used as a supplement to more formal diplomatic channels, as it can help to build personal relationships and trust between negotiators, which can facilitate progress in official negotiations.
The term coffee diplomacy has been used to describe a range of diplomatic activities, including cultural exchanges, trade negotiations, and peace negotiations. For example, coffee diplomacy has been used as a tool to build relationships between the USA and Cuba in recent years, with informal meetings and discussions over coffee helping to pave the way for the historic normalisation of relations between the two countries.
Overall, coffee diplomacy is a way of using informal settings to build relationships, facilitate communication, and promote understanding between negotiators. While it may not replace more formal diplomatic channels entirely, it can be an effective complement to traditional diplomacy, particularly in situations where personal relationships and trust are essential to achieving positive outcomes.