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Maldives opens virtual embassy

world Updated: May 23, 2007 00:09 IST
Nilova Roy Chowdhury
Nilova Roy Chowdhury
Hindustan Times
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The Maldives on Tuesday became the first country in the world to open a Virtual Embassy in Second Life, the online virtual world, according to a press release from the Maldives mission in India. The inauguration ceremony took place simultaneously in the real world, at Geneva, and in the virtual world (Second Space).

The Maldives Virtual Embassy is located in the Diplomatic Quarter of Diplomacy Island in Second Life, an online space designed to allow new avenues for diplomatic representation and negotiation, especially for small and developing countries that have limited diplomatic outreach in the "real" world, the release said.

When asked, the Indian Foreign Office spokesman Navtej Sarna said India had no virtual embassies and no plans to set up such missions.

An official said, "India has very real embassies which provide real services."

According to the release, participants in "place" and "space" were able to watch the speeches and interact with each other, while exploring the rest of Diplomacy Islanad.

Countries like Macedonia, the Philippines and Sweden have also announced plans to open virtual embassies.