US begins tweeting in Arabic

2011-02-10 10:25

Washington - Hoping to widen the audience for its mini-pronouncements of US policy amid growing unrest in the Middle East, the State Department has begun sending Twitter messages in Arabic.

The department's first entry into Arabic language micro-blogging appeared on Wednesday. It is a post saying that Washington recognises the "historic role" of social media in the Arab world. "We want to be in your conversation," it said.

The next posts reiterated US President Barack Obama's stance that only Egyptians can decide their future and summarised Vice President Joe Biden's on Tuesday call to Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman.

The Twitter account is "USA bilAraby", which means "USA in Arabic". It had 40 followers within hours of appearing.