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.

This week The Queen visited Ireland on the first ever State Visit of a British Monarch to the Republic of Ireland. While there she offered her “sincere thoughts and deep sympathy” to the victims of Ireland and the UK’s troubled past.

Foreign Secretary William Hague took part in a Parliamentary debate on the Middle East and North Africa in the House of Commons on Monday and on Tuesday he updated Parliament on progress in Afghanistan during April.

The Foreign Secretary sent his best wishes for Vesak to the global Buddhist community.

Starting the week in Oman, Minister for the Middle East Alistair Burt co-chaired the first meeting of the Oman-UK Joint Working Group. He then visited Pakistan where he reinforced the UK commitment to the country.

The Government agreed a limit on the total amount of greenhouse gases to be emitted by the UK between 2023 to 2027, cutting Britain’s emissions by 50% from 1990 levels and putting the UK on course to cut emissions by 80% by 2050.

Foreign Office Minister Jeremy Browne recorded a video message of support for International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia.

He also visited Brazil, Colombia and Uruguay to promote the UK Government’s prosperity agenda.

Questions on the EU Bill, BBC World Service and Camp Ashraf where answered by Foreign Office Minister Lord Howell.

A ten day visit to Africa will see Minister for Africa Henry Bellingham visit four countries and attend two presidential inaugurations.

Somalia, Libya and human rights were amongst the topics discussed by Foreign Office bloggers this week.

Next week US President Barack Obama will visit the UK on a State Visit. Our dedicated page will provide all the latest news from the visit.