Diplomat: French diplomats good models

Nov. 8, 2012 at 12:59 PM
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LONDON, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- If British diplomatic corps want to become considered among the world's elite, it should look to the French, Britain's top diplomat said.

Foreign Secretary William Hague set for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office the goal of becoming the best diplomatic service in the world by 2015 and is looking at other diplomatic operations as part of its quest, the BBC reported Thursday.

Hague said Britain already has made major strides in this area.

Earlier this year, Diplomatic Service chief Simon Fraser told the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee France's diplomatic corps has the reputation for pushing the country's national interests, and supporting economic and commercial interests.

"I think the point about the discussion of different diplomacies was the sense that French diplomacy is very good at a single-minded pursuit of a perception of the national interest," Fraser said. "This is something that perhaps British diplomacy could be a bit more focused in doing, [while] also pursuing the other things such as our values agenda, human rights and these other issues."

The BBC reported Thursday Fraser said the Foreign and Commonwealth Office wanted to make policy development "hard-headed and focused on delivering the national interest" and more "bold and imaginative."

He said there were many good diplomatic services worldwide, "and the important thing for us is that we can learn from them, as they can learn from us."

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