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Frank Baker

Ambassador to Libya, Tripoli

Part of UK in Libya

21st May 2018 Tripoli, Libya

”The High National Elections Commission & Anniversary of Manchester Attack”

Over a week ago, 14 innocent civilians were killed in a grotesque terrorist attack on
the streets of Libya’s capital. Those who died at the Higher National Elections
Commission were working for a stronger Libya and in the interests of the Libyan
people. I offer my sincerest condolences to the families of those who lost their lives
and I wish the injured the quickest recovery possible.

Almost a year ago, 22 innocent civilians were also killed in another inhuman terrorist
attack in Manchester and more than 500 people were injured. Too many people
have lost their lives in brutal terrorist atrocities in our countries, like those in London,
Benghazi, Misrata and Manchester. While the scars will heal and families will rebuild
their lives, the heart-breaking pain of these attacks will never fade completely.
In the difficult days after such attacks, we remember who our friends are and what
truly matters. After the Manchester attack, I was touched deeply by the expressions
of love and sympathy from so many Libyans. Terrorism is our common foe and we
will stand with Libya in this fight, just as we did during the Second World War and in
Libya’s pursuit of independence.

These are not just words, but a commitment backed by actions to counter terrorism
in Libya, the United Kingdom and across the region.

British armed forces are fighting to defeat Daesh and other terrorist organisations
across the region. As Daesh’s network crumbles, the British Government is also
leading international efforts to track down its remnants and starve them of funding.
In Libya, the UK is working closely with Libyan police and prosecutors to help them
keep people safe and bring terrorists to justice, as well as working with partners
across the world to catch foreign terrorists before they reach Libya. Along with our
American and German allies, we are also training Libyan teams to search and defeat
Improvised Explosive Devices left by Daesh in Sirte, as well as funding awareness-
raising programmes in Benghazi to reduce the number of people injured and killed
by Improvised Explosive Devices.

Daesh has lost in Sirte and in Benghazi. Daesh has lost in Syria and in Iraq. Daesh
is losing across the world and will lose in the end, but Libya’s leaders must put aside
their personal interests and unite to defeat Daesh in Libya for good.
As Daesh is defeated, the terrorist threat will evolve and we must all be vigilant. We
are seeing fruitless and desperate attempts to conduct terrorist attacks elsewhere in
the world and the evolution in this threat has invited us to change our approach.
Britain is strengthening its security apparatus to tackle this threat. British authorities
have thwarted 25 terrorist attacks since 2013. Our security services have appointed
1,900 experts in the field of combating terrorism and introduced over 1,000 armed
police officers. We are also working to ensure that our police force and the judiciary
guarantee that our laws grant us the tools that we need to fight this war.

However this alone is not enough. We must also destroy the extremist ideologies
that feed terrorism.

I am proud that the UK is a diverse and democratic country with people of different
beliefs and cultures living side by side peacefully. I am also proud that the British
Government does not tolerate extremism. As the British Minister for the Middle East and North Africa recently wrote in al-Ahram:

“We will confront anyone that claims that Islam is not compatible with peaceful life in
British society. We will confront anyone who tries to spread hatred and deny people’s
rights as a result of their different religions or anyone who denies women’s rights.
We can do this – and we will do this – within a framework that will protect human
rights. Imposing tough security procedures doesn’t mean that we will take away
people’s rights, but it means that we will use strict procedures to protect values,
rights and the law in the UK from extremist activities.”

Eradicating extremist ideologies and cracking down on the sheltering of radical
extremists is at the heart of the British government’s agenda. Since May 2010 we’ve
excluded over 110 individuals from the UK on the grounds of unacceptable extremist
behaviour. We have also imprisoned several extremists like Anjem Choudary and
deported others from the country like Abu Qatada and Abu Hamza.
Anyone, in any organisation, that incites hate or who tolerates, supports or justifies
terrorism, is against the law and will be prosecuted and punished.

This is also true for organisations which profess their commitment to democratic
values but whose behaviour is often perceived to fall short of those standards. As
part of our efforts to eradicate extremism in the UK, the British Government also
investigated and published a report on the Muslim Brotherhood in 2015. While there
was no hard evidence of Muslim Brotherhood support for terrorism, the UK has since
imposed tighter surveillance on the Muslim Brotherhood’s behaviour in the UK and
their activities including visa requests, the transfer of funds by UK-based persons to
organisations and people overseas as well as their relationships with international
organisations in order to ensure it does not put in danger our national security. In
Libya, it is vital that the Muslim Brotherhood continues to make clear its support for a
peaceful political transition and that they reject all forms of extremism and terrorism.

There is a small minority who also claim that the British Government supports the
Muslim Brotherhood in Libya and the wider Middle East. This is not true.

All Libyan parties must come together to end the Libyan people’s suffering and to
defeat terrorism in Libya for good. The UK stands with you, the Libyan people, in the
fight against Daesh and all forms of terrorism.

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