A look at the work of the Foreign Office and its embassies overseas this week.
Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative
This week the Foreign Secretary William outlined deployments for the UK team of experts working on preventing sexual violence in conflict situations. The Foreign Secretary said: “We are determined to help shatter the culture of impunity for wartime rape, and to rally the world to do more to help survivors.” The team will be deployed to Syria, Libya, South Sudan, Easter Democratic Republic of the Congo and to Bosnia-Herzegovina this year.
Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt visited Sri Lanka to see the progress that has been made, and the challenges that remain, following the end of the civil war in 2009. Whilst in Mullaitivu the Minister responded to questions from public via video. On 5 February the Minister will answer questions about Sri Lanka live via twitter.
Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt condemned the multiple arrests of journalists in Iran. He said: “These targeted arrests are part of a deliberate attempt by the Iranian authorities to clamp down on freedom of speech and independent voices in the country.”
The UK urged Iran to respect UN Security Council and IAEA Board resolutions and cooperate fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt welcomed the announcement of the start of National Dialogue in Yemen and looked forward to the next Friends of Yemen meeting in London on 7 March. The Minister said: “ This is a significant step and marks a crucial stage in Yemen’s political transition.”
The British Ambassador to Jordan blogged about the flow of Syrian refugees entering Jordan and the UK’s support for the Syrian people.
Also this week
The Foreign Secretary attended the Foreign Affairs Council. Syria, Mali and the Middle East were discussed.
A Foreign Office spokesperson expressed concern about the Argentine government’s behaviour towards the Falkland Islanders.
Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt attended an event to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day on the Millennium Bridge
Foreign Office Travel Advice urges British nationals to leave Somaliland in response to a specific threat to Westerners