Foreign Office Blogs

A unique insight into UK foreign policy

31st July 2015 Havana, Cuba

Tim Cole

by Tim Cole

British Ambassador to Cuba

Cuban summer reading

A lot of people ask me which are the best books written about Cuba. This year, more than ever it seems, people are interested. The rapprochement between Cuba and the United States, the two countries re-opening embassies after 54 years, the Cuban government’s steady economic reforms; all of this, and the thought that it will […]

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31st July 2015 Beirut, Lebanon

Tom Fletcher

by Tom Fletcher

British Ambassador to Lebanon

So…Yalla, Bye

Tom Fletcher

Dear Lebanon,   Sorry to write again. But I’m leaving your extraordinary country after four years. Unlike your politicians, I can’t extend my own term.   When I arrived, my first email said ‘welcome to Lebanon, your files have been corrupted’. It should have continued: never think you understand it, never think you can fix […]

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29th July 2015 Toronto, Canada

Canadian science news: 20-26 July 2015

Trouble reading this story or moving through pages? Check it out on Storify here: [View the story “Canadian science news: 20-26 July 2015″ on Storify]

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29th July 2015 Skopje, Macedonia

Voicing the public interest in Macedonia

Having in mind the recent political developments in the country, it has never been more important to deconstruct the meaning of the term Public interest. It seems that the term has various meanings, depending on who you ask, and whose interests are on the line. In general, public interest involves matters, or policies that affect […]

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29th July 2015 Tunis, Tunisia

Peter Millett

by Peter Millett

Ambassador to Libya, Tripoli

When Perfect is the Enemy of Good

“Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good” said French writer Voltaire.  This saying is relevant to our personal lives and to our actions at work.  It is also true in politics.  And it springs to mind with the current situation in Libya. At a personal level, we would all like to strive […]

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27th July 2015 New York, USA

Charles Arrowsmith

by Charles Arrowsmith

Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the Consul-General

BBC Proms: The Special Relationship Never Sounded Better

Family Guy probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the BBC Proms. This annual festival, which started in London on July 17 and runs through to September 12, is the 76-course meal (plus sides) at the heart of the British classical music calendar. Now in its 120th year, it continues […]

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26th July 2015 Colombo, Sri Lanka

Laura Davies

by Laura Davies

Deputy High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and the Maldives

Maldives at Fifty: penning a chapter in history


This year, we are celebrating fifty years of bilateral relations between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Maldives.  That relationship started on 26 July 1965, with the signing of the Declaration of Independence. That moment is captured in a famous photo, with Ibrahim Nasir Rannabandeyri Kilegefan, Prime Minister and Sir Micheal Walker, British Ambassador designate to the […]

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24th July 2015 Madrid, Spain

Daniel Pruce

by Daniel Pruce

Deputy Head of Mission, Madrid

Great performance by King Solomon Academy Orchestra at La Paz Hospital


On 6 July, I had the pleasure to introduce a concert by the King Solomon Academy Orchestra at La Paz Hospital in Madrid.     The British Embassy has a long and happy relationship with La Paz Hospital, including hosting an annual Christmas party for the children who are patients there. They have also designed […]

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23rd July 2015

Sir Martyn Poliakoff

Foreign Secretary and Vice-President of the Royal Society

On UK-Russia scientific cooperation


Guest blog by Sir Martyn Poliakoff, Foreign Secretary and Vice-President of the Royal Society I am delighted to be contributing to the Embassy’s blog. I am a British chemist, born in London, with a Russian father and English mother. I work at the University of Nottingham, and my research is focussed on Green Chemistry, a […]

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23rd July 2015 Istanbul, Turkey

Leigh Turner

by Leigh Turner

Consul General and Director-General for Trade & Investment for Turkey, Central Asia and the South Caucasus

Deep Purple and Joan Baez: how to be inspired

A grizzled rock veteran belts out the opening chords to “Smoke on the water “ in a hangar-like concert hall.  A slender folk legend sings folk songs unaccompanied in an open-air arena under moonlight.  What’s the connection?    Back in 2011 I blogged about “Life Lessons from Deep Purple”.  This month I had the privilege […]

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