This week at the Foreign Office

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

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

This week the Prime Minister visited China with 50 British executives and education leaders. The UK-China Summit delivered a raft of new agreements.

He then travelled to the Republic of Korea for the G20 summit. While there he accepted an invitation from Russian President to visit Russia next year.

The Foreign Secretary declared that the “UK’s retreat from Latin America is over” when he gave the 2010 Canning Lecture on Tuesday.

On Wednesday he hosted the public premiere of “Going for Green - Britain’s 2012 Dream”. The film is a documentary telling the story of the 2012 Olympic Park build.

Yesterday he announced members of the Human Rights Advisory Group, established to give the Foreign Secretary the best possible information about human rights challenges.

Minister for Europe David Lidington introduced the EU Bill to Parliament yesterday. You can find out more from the Minister’s video blog.

In a meeting with leaders of the Baha’i community, Minister for the Middle East Alistair Burt discussed the problems that the Baha’i community face in Iran.

The Minister spent Wednesday and Thursday in Algeria. He met members of the Algerian Government and discussed the longstanding relationship between the UK and Algeria including ways to co-operate more closely.

In travel news this week we covered changes to how British Nationals apply for passports overseas, flooding in North West Italy and provided advice for cricket fans planning to travel out for the Ashes Tour.

This week’s featured blog is from British Ambassador to Ukraine Leigh Turner. In his blog he explains why he wears a poppy:

“…I also remember the many members of the British Armed Forces who have died in what is today Ukraine during and just after the First World War but today have no known grave, such as Able Seaman Nicklen who died at Yalta in 1919. Their individual graves and memorials are today marked and maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

This remarkable organization looks after the last resting place of over 900,000 servicemen and women who lie in marked graves and over 700,000 monumental inscriptions to the missing. As Albert Schweitzer noted “the soldiers’ graves are the greatest preachers of peace”.”