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Frank Baker

Ambassador to Libya, Tripoli

Part of UK in Libya

10th April 2018 Tripoli, Libya

“Who lives sees, but who travels sees more” Ibn Battuta

When I became British Ambassador to Libya over a month ago, I promised to travel and meet people from across Libya. Only by living in Libya, as I do, and by meeting people from across the country can a diplomat truly understand Libya and the challenges we must face together.

In the past few weeks I have delivered on that promise. I am now living and working in Tripoli and I have visited Benghazi and Tobruk. I have marvelled at the beauty of Tripoli’s old city, which is in danger due to neglect, and I have witnessed the brutal destruction in As-Sabri from the conflict in Benghazi. I have seen with my own eyes the great challenges and hardship that you face on a daily basis.

But the purpose of travelling across Libya is not just to see but to listen. I have met Libya’s leaders, but I have also listened to teachers and engineers, to traders and doctors, and to the young and the old. I have met talented and strong Libyan women who are working tirelessly to make life better for their communities. I have been energised by conversations with entrepreneurs, whose dynamism and creativity will be essential for sustainable economic growth.

Although Libya’s leaders are divided, the message I have heard from ordinary Libyans is the same. They are tired. They are tired of the power cuts and the fuel shortages. They are tired of the cash crisis and the insecurity. And they are tired of the violence and divisions causing their suffering.

The current situation is unsustainable and all Libyans must join together to achieve progress.

There is very small minority who claim that my travels across the country are a violation of Libya’s sovereignty. This is false. When I visit towns and cities across Libya, it is because I have been invited and supported by the Libyan authorities to do so. This is the work of diplomats all over the world, including Libyan diplomats in the United Kingdom, and we need to travel and to listen to people from across a country to truly understand where our common interests lie.

Libya is now my home, and in the coming months I hope to travel to Misrata and Zintan, to Sirte and Sebha, and to other towns and cities across your beautiful country. I will continue to listen and I will continue to work with all those Libyans who are committed to ending the suffering and achieving progress.

2 comments on ““Who lives sees, but who travels sees more” Ibn Battuta

  1. Thank you for your suppport Frank. You are absolutely welcome to travel across our country in peace.

  2. too short not much details which if you wrote more about what you saw in each city and people you met there

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About Frank Baker

full name, Francis (Frank) Raymond Baker CMG OBE, He is married to Maria Pilar Fernandez and has 1 daughter and 1 son. He has been appointed Her Majesty’s Ambassador to…

full name, Francis (Frank) Raymond Baker CMG OBE, He is married to Maria Pilar Fernandez and has 1 daughter and 1 son. He has been appointed Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Libya on February 2018. Before that he was: Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Baghdad 2014 – 2017, 2010 – 2014 Kuwait City, Her Majesty’s Ambassador, 2007 – 2010 FCO, Deputy Director, Middle East, 2003 – 2007 Washington, Political/Military Counsellor, 2000 – 2003 FCO, Head of Africa Department (Equatorial),1998 – 2000 FCO, Private Secretary to Minister of State,1998 FCO, Head of Iraq Section, Middle East Department, 1996 – 1998 Washington, on secondment to US Government,1993 – 1996 Ankara, First Secretary, 1991 – 1993 FCO, Desk Officer, Human Rights Policy Department, 1986 – 1991 Buenos Aires, Third, later Second Secretary, 1983 – 1986 Panama City, Third Secretary,1981 – 1982, FCO, Personnel Operations Department, 1981 Joined FCO