Blog from the press office in the FCO. This section responds to articles in the press, announces important events and clarifies any inaccuracies.
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South Korea announced today that it will be redeploying its Provisional Reconstruction Team (PRT) to Afghanistan, committing soldiers and police to protect its aid workers.
This welcome announcement is a further demonstration of the international community’s commitment to Afghanistan.
You’ll be glad to hear that the government is not developing a policy of existential opposition towards death itself, or any other inherent reality of the human condition. For the avoidance of doubt, we strongly oppose the death PENALTY in all circumstances.
As part the Foreign Office’s work to support British nationals abroad, a delegation is sent to Makkah (Mecca) every year to provide medical and consular support to British nationals performing the annual Hajj pilgrimage. The Foreign Secretary launched this year’s delegation today along with HRH Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf (Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to the UK), Lord Patel of Blackburn (Head of Delegation) and Dr Syed Mohiud-din (Chief Doctor).
The British Hajj Delegation (BHD) has been functioning for over ten years and has been led by Lord Patel of Blackburn for the last nine of those. The delegation includes a Chief Medical Advisor (CMA), seven other Doctors (including one female Doctor), and three FCO Consular officers. The delegation is based in Makkah and provides clinical services for around 3 weeks. Last year there were approximately 23,000 British pilgrims performing Hajj and over 3,000 of them were supported by the delegation.
The delegation leaves for Jeddah on 11 November and is due to return on 5 December. The medical clinic giving basic treatment to British pilgrims will operate in Makkah before the pilgrimage and for a few days after it. Serious illnesses will be referred to Saudi hospitals, which provide free treatment during the Hajj.