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 from the Foreign Office this week focussed on the Middle East and North Africa.

On Tuesday, Foreign Secretary William Hague talked of a “great sense of optimism” among Libyans in Benghazi in his update to Parliament on the Middle East and North Africa. Yesterday he answered questions on Libya and the Arab Spring via Twitter.

Leaders of five European countries including UK Prime Minister David Cameron signed a statement following President Saleh’s departure from Yemen.

Minister for the Middle East and North Africa Alistair Burt said he “firmly believes that the Libyan people will achieve their vision for a free, prosperous and democratic Libya” when he attended an event at Chatham House on Wednesday.

On Thursday he travelled to Abu Dhabi to represent the UK at the meeting of the Libya Contact Group.

The UK debated the findings of the UN Human Rights Council report into the human rights situation in Libya.

Other news:

The Foreign Secretary urged the Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Karti and the Government of Sudan to quickly negotiate a peaceful solution to the situation in Abyei when the two Ministers met on Monday.

Minister for Europe David Lidington visited Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro and Albania. The Foreign Secretary and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wrote about future progress for Bosnia and Herzegovina in an article for the Bosnian media.

The first black officer appointed to the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment discussed taking part in the Trooping the Colour parade and the diversity of modern Britain.

British Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mark Canning was grilled on the current situation in Zimbabwe by 20 young Zimbabweans at an event at the Embassy.

Egypt, Libya and Bosnia & Herzegovina were the amongst the topics discussed by Foreign Office bloggers this week.