This week at the Foreign Office

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

A look at the work of the Foreign Office and its embassies overseas this week.

Main news this week was the outcome of the Government’s Spending Review. The Foreign Secretary explained that the Foreign Office will play its part in reducing the deficit while also maintaining the UK’s global reach.

During a visit to the UK, the Chilean President visited the London 2012 Olympic park with Minister for Latin America Jeremy Browne on Tuesday. On Monday the Chilean Foreign Minister met the Foreign Secretary.

The Foreign Secretary added his support to Amnesty International’s campaign for the release of Burma’s 2,100 political prisoners.

Minister for Latin America Jeremy Browne held High Level Political Talks with the Deputy Foreign Minister of Mexico.

Minister for Europe David Lidington started his week in Azerbaijan before travelling to Istanbul for the annual Bosphorus Conference on Turkey EU Relations. He spoke about his trip in an interview with Turkish news agency Anatolia.

Minister for the Middle East Alistair Burt gave speeches at the Oman Trade & Investment Forum and the Abu Dhabi Investment Forum.

Special Representative for Climate Change, John Ashton visited Bolivia to meet Bolivian President Evo Morales.

Our Embassy in Japan have been running a series of articles on biodiversity in the run up to COP10 (the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity).

In Travel News this week we highlighted the importance of taking out travel insurance after a survey revealed that 1 in 5 british travellers go without it. We continue to monitor disruption to travel in france following strikes.

This week’s featured blogger is Dominic Asquith, British Ambassador to Cairo. In his most recent blog he talks about “The Danger of Silence”:

”..the suggestion I read recently in Egypt that comments about religion should be made illegal seems exactly the wrong approach. It is not enough to co-exist in silence. Silence encourages ignorance, which merely increases fear and suspicion.”