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British foreign secretary launches new drive to enhance diplomatic abilities

(Xinhua)

09:02, September 09, 2011

LONDON, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- British Foreign Secretary William Hague on Friday talked of launching the biggest drive the department has ever seen to enhance the cutting edge abilities and diplomatic skills of the Foreign Office and to strengthen Britain's diplomatic network overseas.

In a speech at the Foreign Office, Hague said that the most important responsibility of any Foreign Secretary is making the right judgement about the most urgent challenges in foreign policy and tirelessly to promote the national interest.

He said "But it is not the only responsibility. My personal objective as Foreign Secretary is to do something else that I passionately believe is necessary: to strengthen the long term capability and international effectiveness of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as an institution at the heart of government."

Hague talked of setting out to strengthen systematically the capacity and reach of the Foreign Office in three principal ways: "First, we have clarified and simplified the FCO's purpose and priorities, refining the FCO's objectives to three core tasks."

"Second, we have restored financial stability to the Foreign Office, which had been tottering on a financial precipice," he said.

"Third, we have launched the biggest drive to enhance the cutting edge abilities and diplomatic skills of the Foreign Office that the Department has ever seen; skills in negotiation, analysis, difficult languages, economics and policy making."

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