Seattle sister cities – an overview


In 1956 President Dwight Eisenhower started Sister Cities International as part of a White House conference on citizen diplomacy. The broad idea behind developing sister city relationships is to create a person-to-person exchange between Americans and citizens of other countries based on cultural, educational, information and trade exchanges. Americans can and should learn about and celebrate differences that we have with communities around the world, thus creating new friendships and hopefully playing a small role in making future world conflict less likely. This article will focus on Seattle sister cities.

Logo for Seattle Sister Cities program

Seattle Sister Cities Logo

Today, there are 21 Seattle sister cities, the first of which was started in 1957 with Kobe, Japan and the most recent started in 1999 with Sihahoukville, Cambodia. Seattle also broke new ground when they started a sister city relationship in 1973 with Tashkent, Uzbekistan, then a member of the former USSR. The relationship between the two cities is still active today.

For more information about Seattle sister cities, see the Seattle Sister Cities portal of the website and the Facebook page.. For more information about the sister cities program on a national level, see the Sister Cities International official website.

Seattle sister cities

Below is a list, in alphabetical order, of Seattle’s 21 sister cities, when the sister city relationship was formed and external weblinks (if available). I have also included information about the advocacy for Isfahan, Iran, a proposed sister city relationship since 2015.

*** Isfahan, Iran is not presently a Seattle sister city but has been proposed since 2015. For more information, see Seattle-Isfahan Sister City Advocacy (SISCA), and their Facebook page. The Seattle-Isfahan Sister City Advocacy was also promoted in an opinion-editorial submission to The Seattle Times entitled “How Seattle can help America and Iran build trust”.

(An earlier version of this article was first published at on Feb. 19, 2015).

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4 thoughts on “Seattle sister cities – an overview

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