Sushma Swaraj named alongside Merkel, Ban Ki-moon for diplomacy

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has been included in Foreign Policy magazine's 2016 list of 15 Global Thinkers ''for fashioning a novel brand of Twitter diplomacy''.

The magazine recalled how, when around 10,000 Indian workers in Saudi Arabia faced a ''food crisis'' earlier this year due to job losses, Swaraj tweeted about the issue to six million followers on the social media website.

''What followed was a week-long social media operation in which Swaraj posted information for migrants about rations provided by the Indian embassy, claims for unpaid wages and government-organised transportation home,'' it said.

Stating that this was not the first time that the minister used the internet to reach out to the people abroad, the online post by the magazine said, ''From evacuating Indians from Yemen to helping replace lost passports, Swaraj has earned the nickname 'the common tweeple's leader' for her aggressive use of Twitter.''

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among the first to congratulate Sushma Swaraj for this.

''Very proud to see our hardworking EAM @SushmaSwaraj part of the @ForeignPolicy Global Thinkers list 2016! Congrats,'' Modi tweeted.

Others on the list are German chancellor Angela Merkel, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Swaraj is at present recuperating from a kidney transplant operation at the All Indian Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi.