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British Foreign Secretary William Hague answers foreign policy questions on Twitter

17 Dec

William Hague

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December 16, 2010 (KATAKAMI / FCO.GOV.UK) — Foreign Secretary William Hague answered questions about his first six months at the Foreign Office on 16 December via Twitter.

The following questions were put to the Foreign Secretary@WilliamJHague by using the hashtag #foreignoffice.

Q. @BackS00N: RT @cliffsull: #FOREIGNOFFICE -Mr Hague -would you tell us the Foreign Offices stance on Gary #Mckinnon plaese ? #freegary

A. @BackS00N @cliffsull Home Secretary is currently reviewing the Gary Mckinnon case

Q. @curiousc:@WilliamJHague How you feel #wikileaks impacts on the #opendata agenda in the UK ?

A. @curiousc I support internet freedom. But doesn’t extend to threatening national security by publishing illegally obtained documents

Q. @HKSkot1@WilliamJHague #foreignoffice was there anything in the Wikileaks material that was genuinely damaging rather than just mildly embarrassing?

A. @HKScot1 Wikileaks confuses need for transparency and accountability with irresponsible attempts to undermine government

Q.@citizen_sane: @WilliamJHague What impact do you think WikiLeaks will have on future UK diplomacy? #foreignoffice

A. @citizen_sane Important diplomats can advise candidly and in confidence. Ours do so and I want them to keep doing it.

Q. @tom5ash:@williamjhague Does defence cooperation with France undermine our relationship with the US or does it increase our influence? #foreignoffice

A. @tom5ash Treaty with France is about practical co-operation to increase military impact – doesnt replace Special Relationship

Q. @manatrue: #foreignoffice @WilliamJHague Are British courts not fit for purpose or is there another reason why #GaryMcKinnon is denied UK justice?

A. @manatrue @wildallison Mr Assange’s extradition is rightly a matter for the courts

Q.@FHxoxo: @WilliamJHague what is being improve relations btw UK and Burma, a member of ASEAN, now that Aung San Suu Kyi is free? #foreignoffice

A. @FHxoxo Her release was long overdue. 2,200 other political prisoners remain behind bars. More progress is needed.

Q. @JoeThorpe1963: @WilliamJHague #foreignoffice the only foreign policy anyone that interests people is when will we get a referendum on #EU membership?

A. @JoeThorpe1963 We had a vote after we first joined. Our EU Referendum lock guarentees a popular vote on any further shifts of power

Q. @KevReillyCom: Do u think Julian Assange has risked/claimed any UK lifes with leaks or are you worried of any UK based leaks? #foreignoffice @WilliamJHague

A. @KevReillyCom Leaks can damage national security, and put lives at risk. They are in no one’s interest

Q. @KevReillyCom: Do the #foreignoffice intend to use social media (thinking Twitter/Google Latitude type locations) with it’s LOCATE system? @WilliamJHague

A. @KevReillyCom We increasingly use social media for consular work & we are considering future options for LOCATE & public registration

Q. @si_smith: @WilliamJHague #foreignoffice William, is the unbalanced UK/US Extradition treaty going to be amended/changed/abandoned?

A. @si_smith We want to ensure that extradition is fair, balanced and in the interests of justice. Independent panel now reviewing

Q. @huwtaylor: @WilliamJHague Do you think that the European Arrest Warrants are being abused? #foreignoffice

A. @huwtaylor I do think there is a problem. The Home Office is reviewing how they work

Q. @benpopkid: @WilliamJHague when will you as foreign secretary make it easier for citizens such as myself to marry a non-EU resident?

A. @benpopkid This is a matter for the Home Office I am afraid. But I wish you all the best in your personal life

Q. @Pol_Hernanz: @williamjhague Your views please on European Citizens’ Initiative #ECI, now accepted by #EP. Will it have any actual impact? #foreignoffice

A. @Pol_Hernanz Important to increase connection between people and the EU. If European Citizens Initiative does this, then good thing

Q. @bilalhassam: Question @WilliamJHague #foreignoffice Israel defies international law in building settlements when wil UK do something beyond empty threats

A. @bilalhassam Settlements undermine peace efforts & are illegal. UK acting to help build capacity of future Palestinian state

Q. @greeneyespy: @WilliamJHague #foreignoffice questions: were the #Pakistan floods a result of #climatechange & how important #Brazil to #climate diplomacy?

A. @greeneyespy We’re seeing more extreme weather events across the world.Brazil is very important as is Mexico.They did a great job at Cancun

Q. @vickirowlands: @WilliamJHague What are you most proud of achieving/changing/doing since May 2010? #foreignoffice

A. @vickirowlands Starting to build the strategic relations Britain needs for the future and returning FCO to its proper place in government

Q. @WilliamJHague @UKinSriLanka #foreignoffice How would you describe how it has been to work on the relatship between the UK and Sri Lanka?

A. @johnfdrake Constructive meeting with FM Peiris in Oct. Called for lasting political settlement and inquiry on human rights abuses

Q. @MarkThomRees: @WilliamJHague Is Oil & Trade more important when dealing with countries than Human Rights, The Death Penalty & Gay Abuse? #ForeignOffice

A. @MarkThomRees No. Human rights are fundamental to this government – I am improving and strengthening our human rights work

Q. @WeLshRoGs: @WilliamJHague #foreignoffice How much did the foreign office pay for it’s Christmas trees? Has it taken a leaf from the Treasury?

A. @WeLshRoGs We spent nothing on Christmas trees in London!

Q. PeterCampbell1: @WilliamJHague who has been the most interesting person you’ve met so far? #foreignoffice

A. @Petercampbell1 The young Afghan students I talked to in Herat in July

Q. @mikebettison: @WilliamJHague you have a very interesting job but you never tweet anything remotely interesting. Why not? #foreignoffice

A. @mikebettison I suspect those two observations are linked

Q. @KevReillyCom: Do you see Radical Islam in general as more organised than on 9/11? (not necessarily under the brand Al-Qaeda) #foreignoffice @WilliamJHague

A. @KevReillyCom AQ less organised than pre-9.11 but still a deadly threat. We and our partners are committed to reducing it

Q. @lewieashman: @williamjhague what counter terrorism measures are in place to stop what happened in Sweden happen in the UK? #foreignoffice

A. @lewieashman All relevant organisations in UK working together to address threat posed by terrorism

Q. @Chanell 82: @WilliamJHague: what approach will the fco be taking to address corruption in africa’s elections and improve governance? #foreignoffice

A. @Chanell82 Improving governance and ensuring fair elections key part of our overseas aid and foreign policy

Q. @mattbjones: @WilliamJHague Has raising human rights concerns with foreign gov’s proved harder than you thought, given economic situation? #foreignoffice

A. @mattbjones No. Our diplomats and Ministers raise human rights cases week by week across the world and will continue to so.

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