Foreign Office Blogs

A unique insight into UK foreign policy

7th December 2016 Lagos, Nigeria

Bisola Dawon

by Bisola Dawon

Science and Innovation Officer

Environmental Challenges in Nigeria and Need for Stakeholder Engagement in Green Economy

I was privileged to represent SIN at a film screening ‘Nowhere to run’ recently hosted by the UK- High Commissioner to Nigeria- Paul Arkwright, at his British Residence highlighting environmental challenges in Nigeria linked to the global threat of climate change. This compelling documentary won the best documentary award at the African Film Festival, amongst […]

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6th December 2016 Bucharest, Romania

Paul Brummell

by Paul Brummell

British Ambassador to Romania

UK – Romania ties: the story of Her Majesty’s great-great grandmother

The small town of Sangeorgiu de Padure, in Mures County in the heart of Transylvania, has a mostly ethnic Hungarian population and an unexpected connection to the British Royal Family. At the heart of the town is the two-storey white-walled Rhedey Castle, actually more palace than castle, which dates originally from the 17th century, though […]

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5th December 2016 Riyhad, Saudi Arabia

Simon Collis

HM Ambassador to Saudi Arabia


In a fast changing world, enduring relationships built on trust and common interests matter. This year we celebrate 100 years of UK relations with Saudi Arabia, where I currently live and work, and an amazing 200 years of relations with Bahrain, my first posting as a baby diplomat 35 years ago and host to this […]

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2nd December 2016 India Kolkata

Bruce Bucknell

by Bruce Bucknell

British Deputy High Commissioner Kolkata

White revolution

There are about 123 million cattle in India, so the Kolkata based Telegraph newspaper informed me recently. The paper was citing India’s 2012 national cow census. That’s a lot of cattle, or roughly one for every ten Indians. The equivalent number in Britain is 1.9 million. This is the size of the total dairy herd […]

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1st December 2016 Tunis, Tunisia

Peter Millett

by Peter Millett

Ambassador to Libya, Tripoli

Presenting Credentials

Last weekend I had the enormous honour of presenting my credentials to Prime Minister Fayez Serraj in Tripoli.  Four other European Ambassadors presented their credentials at the same time. What does this mean?  And why is it important?  Ambassadors are formally appointed by their Head of State and are given letters of appointment. These letters […]

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1st December 2016 St Petersburg, Russia

Keith Allan

by Keith Allan

Her Majesty’s Consul General to St Petersburg, Russia

Visit to Vologodskaya region, home of Russia’s largest steel company and the first Russian Ambassador to Britain

Vologodskaya region is at the southern end of my consular district, Russia’s large North West Federal District. The two main cities are the regional administrative centre, Vologda, and the industrial centre, Cherepovets. Both lie approximately half way between Moscow and St Petersburg. I was keen to see and hear more about this region of Russia, […]

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29th November 2016 Vienna, Austria

Leigh Turner

by Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

Beauty and Remembrance in Carinthia

Kärnten Remembrance

The grass is perfect.  Rows of tombstones stand in rows.  Two Austrian musicians play “The Last Post”. I was honoured recently to attend Remembrance Day commemorations at the Commonwealth War Graves cemetery at Klagenfurt, in Austria.  The cemetery contains 589 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War.  Most died on Austrian territory as prisoners of […]

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29th November 2016 Bucharest, Romania

Paul Brummell

by Paul Brummell

British Ambassador to Romania

Remembering Sybille

Ghidigeni is a village, easily overlooked, in southern Moldova, just off the main road between Tecuci and Barlad. Just next door to the town hall a locked metal gate stands in front of the Chrissoveloni Palace, built in the late 19th century in a French neoclassical style, but having endured a particularly tough history. I […]

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29th November 2016 Holy See

Sally Axworthy

by Sally Axworthy

Ambassador to the Holy See

How the Vatican does Foreign Policy

One of the things that I have been struck by since starting in Rome in August is the difference in how the Vatican does foreign policy compared to the UK (or indeed most countries). In some ways our foreign policy structures are similar. In the Vatican the Pope decides the policy line; in London, ministers […]

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