Foreign affairs

The Government believes that Britain must always be an active member of the global community, promoting our national interests while standing up for the values of freedom, fairness and responsibility. This means working as a constructive member of the United Nations, NATO and other multilateral organisations including the Commonwealth; working to promote stability and security; and pushing for reform of global institutions to ensure that they reflect the modern world.

  • We will take forward our shared resolve to safeguard the UK’s national security and support our Armed Forces in Afghanistan and elsewhere.
  • We will push for peace in the Middle East, with a secure and universally recognised Israel living alongside a sovereign and viable Palestinian state.
  • We will work to establish a new ‘special relationship’ with India and seek closer engagement with China, while standing firm on human rights in all our bilateral relationships.
  • We will maintain a strong, close and frank relationship with the United States.
  • We want to strengthen the Commonwealth as a focus for promoting democratic values and development.
  • We will work to promote stability in the Western Balkans.
  • We will support concerted international efforts to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
  • We support reform of the UN Security Council, including permanent seats for Japan, India, Germany, Brazil and African representation.
  • We will work to intensify our cultural, educational, commercial and diplomatic links with many nations beyond Europe and North America to strengthen the UK’s relations with the fastest-growing areas of the world economy.
  • We will never condone the use of torture.

Your comments (12)

  1. Jack Hawkins says:

    Investing in Foreign Policy should be a priority – but I don’t think most of the above policies are achievable if there are budget cuts. Not happy about the 55m cuts highlighted by the BBC. This could treble or quadruple if we take into consideration Foreign Exchange factors.

  2. Edward says:

    “We will never condone the use of torture.”

    The government should make it clear that this also means that we will not cooperate with or use information provided by foreign intelligence agencies who use torture. We should look very carefully at our relationship with Uzbekistan, Pakistan, and others on this basis. We must also not condone the USA on matters relating to “extraordinary rendition”, “waterboarding”, “enhanced interrogation”, its treatment of prisoners in Afghanistan, Guantanamo and elsewhere, and we should end all cooperation with the USA in these areas.

    The suffering of the people of Palestine has been and continues to be the single greatest root-cause threat to global and regional peace. The government should act accordingly.

  3. “We will take forward our shared resolve to safeguard the UK’s national security and support our Armed Forces in Afghanistan and elsewhere.”

    Lol, the Taliban have already said they don’t intend to attack any country if they regain power, nor did Al-Qaeda have anything to do with 9/11; that’s by Bin Laden is only charged with the 1998 African embassy bombings and the USS Cole in 2000. The occupation of Afghanistan is illegal since Afghanistan didn’t attack the US, a UNSC res. was passed on Sept. 12th but it doesn’t mention Afghanistan or give any state authorisation to invade another or setup a UN force. All countries are obliged to leave under international law, and Karzai has insisted on a withdrawal too for like 2 years already.

    “We will work to promote stability in the Western Balkans.”

    It’s no one else’s business on what happens with Kosovo. The 1999 attack on Yugoslavia was a war of aggression too, so Blair and others should be tried for that as well as Iraq & Afghanistan.

    “We will never condone the use of torture”

    Interesting choice of words. How about a pledge not to conduct it? Algeria doesn’t ‘condone’ torture either, or Syria, or Saudi Arabia, or Yemen, or Egypt, etc

    “We will support concerted international efforts to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”

    There’s no evidence it has been pursuing one. This has been an issue for almost 5 years, in all this time there’s been no evidence of weaponisation, Iran allows IAEA inspectors and other NPT countries(like the UK) don’t. I see you couldn’t pledge to comply with international law(eg; UN Charter Article 51) to not attack Iran or aid other countries in doing it.

    “We will push for peace in the Middle East, with a secure and universally recognised Israel living alongside a sovereign and viable Palestinian state.”

    And why should Israel change policy if the UK is supplying arms to it, as well as the US? Silent on Israel’s illegal WMD arsenal too, hmm the hypocrisy!

  4. Simon says:

    Foreign Policy is one of the most important tools to help promote and safeguard our national interests. For years the UK has forgotten its historic allies in the Commonwealth and I am pleased to see that the coalition wishes to put emphasis on working with this unique and highly relevant international organisation.

    I do hope that the Foreign Office is spared significant budgetary cuts as this will directly lead to a downgrade in UK influence and our ability to protect British nationals and interests worldwide. If anything, the FCO needs more resources and staff to help best deliver its goals.

  5. Edward says:

    Sadly, the UK in recent years has forgotten its responsibilities to the British Overseas territories, our last remnants of the British Empire. These territories, with ample investment, could become self-sufficient, thriving communities bringing wealth to themselves and the Treasury. Currently, however, they are ignored and isolated. I hope the new government pledges to invest in our Overseas Territories, and to remove the shared responsibilities of the territories from the Department for International Development, and transfer these powers to a dedicated department of the Foreign Office.

  6. John Bibby says:

    I was glad to see Palestine at no. 2 on your list. The Nakba injustices have been ignored since 1948 while we have had a love-in with Israel. I hope you will also press for all states to be non-religious and non-nuclear too, esp. in the Middle East.

  7. Ben Foskett says:

    I hope that the Conservatives will show their strength in the international arena and restore Britan to a world power as Mrs Thatcher did with the Falklands, it is clear by Israels actions today that a tougher line needs to be taken. Please will the government consider the possibillity of trade sanctions against Israel, which makes a mockey of us by its blatent disregard for our warnings. The time for talking is over, expell the embasadors and sanction Israel, be a leader Mr Cameron not another week PM. They stole our passports for Gods sake.

  8. Paul says:

    If any damage is done to the special relationship with the United States as a result of too much ‘frankness’ it will in the longer term only damage the UK and our national interests.

  9. Justin says:

    ‘When you engage in actual fighting, if victory is long in coming, then men’s weapons will grow dull and their ardor will be damped. If you lay siege to a town, you will exhaust your strength.

    Again, if the campaign is protracted, the resources of the State will not be equal to the strain.’

    -Sun Tzu

    Bring the troops home now!

  10. Ben says:

    I would like to second what many others have expressed here, that a harder line needs to be taken against Israel. The Western bias towards Israel is the main cause of the violent threats towards our interests.

    Why on earth should other countries comply with UN resolutions when Israel does not, and Western governments seemly turn a blind eye. Let us please really stand up for fairness, and responsibility and put more pressure on Israel.

    How can it be justified to still be selling arms to Israel? This should cease immediately. Lets REALLY promote peace, not just verbally condemn the actions of a rogue state that wont even pay heed to the US, its closest ally.

  11. Mike Donohue says:

    I am concerned that the proposed cuts do not include reducing our Foreign Aid payments at a time when we need to cut back so drastically.
    Surely we cannot go on giving money away to Countries that in many cases do nothing to helo themselves.

  12. John Whipple says:

    We will never condone the use of torture. Sorry guys – I don’t believe you.
    You will do as you are told as usual.

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