A look at the work of the Foreign Office and its embassies overseas this week.
**EU member states agreed a new round of sanctions against the Syrian regime this week. The Foreign Secretary said:
“This sixteenth round of sanctions against banking, military and state media entities sends an unequivocal message that we will intensify the pressure until the Assad regime ends the killing and implements Annan’s six-point plan in full.”
The Foreign Secretary also welcomed the announcement of an Action Group meeting on Syria, and met with Arab League Secretary General Dr Nabil al-Araby on Wednesday to discuss the crisis.
The EU agreed that the oil ban against Iran will come into force on 1 July.
**The Prime Minister David Cameron and the Foreign Secretary both congratulated the Egyptian people for their commitment to the democratic process and President Mohamed Mursi on his election victory. The Prime Minister underlined the importance of swiftly establishing a government that reflects the breadth of political forces within the new Egypt and agreement over a new Constitution through an inclusive and transparent process.
** Minister for Europe David Lidington spoke about the EU Common Security and Defence Policy at the British Embassy in Paris on Wednesday. He also attended a meeting of the UK and German European Affairs Committees with German Minister of State Michael Link.
The UK Government published its White Paper, The Overseas Territories: Security, Success and Sustainability, on Thursday. The Foreign Secretary said:
“The White Paper is the first review of the Overseas Territories since 1999 and it demonstrates the importance the Coalition Government attaches to the Overseas Territories.”
Also this week
- Foreign Office Minister Jeremy Browne marked International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.
- The Foreign Secretary updated Parliament on the progress made in Afghanistan in May.
- The FCO released new figures on the number of British Nationals arrested overseas in the past year.