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 over the past week.

The Foreign Secretary started his week in Luxembourg where he welcomed the adoption of an EU regulation that implements tough, new sanctions on Iran.

On Tuesday he issued a statement on Women in Conflict, to mark the tenth anniversary on the UN Security Council resolution on Women, Peace and Security. On Wednesday he gave his quarterly update to Parliament on Afghanistan.

The European Council concluded today in Brussels with Prime Minister David Cameron representing the UK.

The Emir of Qatar visited the UK as part of a 3-day State Visit, where he met the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

MI6 Chief Sir John Sawers spoke in public for the first time, discussing Britain’s secret frontline.

On Tuesday Minister for Europe David Lidington gave a speech to the Policy Exchange about European economic growth.

In her first visit to Pakistan as Home Secretary, Theresa May met the President and Prime Minister of Pakistan.

Her Majesty The Queen sent her condolences to the President of Indonesia following the tsunami and eruption of Mount Merapi volcano.

In Travel News we provided advice for football fans travelling to Europe next week and gave advice for holiday makers after a survey revealed that nearly half of British travellers carry all of their spending money with them at all times when abroad.

We launched two podcasts this week, one on Wilton Park featuring speakers from their conferences on key international policy challenges and a history podcast on the Secret Intelligence Service’s early history.

This week’s featured blog is by High Commissioner to Kenya Rob Macaire. In his latest blog he discusses the problem of Somali piracy in Kenya:

“… the wealth that poor coastal Somalis stand to gain from piracy is so disproportionate to their other opportunities that the incentives remain massive. The size and the ease of ransom payments from the shipping industry are part of the problem. To date, no-one has found a way to tackle that.”