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State Department to hold first Twitter briefing in Spanish

The US State Department said Tuesday it will hold its first Twitter briefing in Spanish, as part of its policy of using new social media to reach out to the international community.

Hosting the briefing at 2 pm Thursday in Washington, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Mike Hammer “will take questions submitted” to the departments Spanish-language Twitter feed @USAenEspanol.

The State Department said questions can be submitted starting Wednesday to @USAenEspanol, using hashtag #AskState.

The State Department has Twitter feeds in 11 languages: English, Arabic, Turkish, Chinese, Farsi, French, Hindi, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Urdu.

“These social media accounts are conduits for the US Department of State to inform and engage individuals around the world on American foreign policy issues,” the department said in a statement.

“They also support the departments 21st Century Statecraft efforts, complementing traditional foreign policy by harnessing the digital networks and technologies of an interconnected world,” it added.

Last month State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland started holding briefings in which she took questions on foreign policy from Twitter followers in some of the 11 different languages.

Speaking in English, Nuland answered on camera in broadcasts that were carried several hours later on YouTube.