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The Foreign & Commonwealth Office

The main building of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is on King Charles Street, Whitehall in London.

The FCO has a worldwide network of embassies and consulates, employing over 14,000 people in nearly 270 diplomatic offices. They work with international organisations to promote British interests and global security, including the European Union, NATO, the United Nations, the UN Security Council and the Commonwealth.

What it does

“The FCO promotes British interests overseas, supporting our citizens and businesses around the globe.”

The FCO is responsible for safeguarding Britain’s national security by countering terrorism and weapons proliferation, and working to reduce conflict; building Britain’s prosperity by increasing exports and investment, opening markets, ensuring access to resources, and promoting sustainable global growth.

It also supports British nationals around the world through services provided in embassies and consulates.

Priorities over the last few years have included reducing the risk to the United Kingdom and her interests overseas from international terrorism; contributing to the effort in Afghanistan and increasing the prosperity of Great Britain by lobbying for British business overseas and encouraging investment into the UK.

Following the rise of Theresa May as Prime Minister on 13 July 2016 she appointed the current Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson MP.

The previous Foreign Secretary was Phillip Hammond who succeeded William Hague, Member of Parliament for Richmond, North Yorkshire and a former Leader of the Conservative Party. Hague retired from the House of Commons and is now a member of the House of Lords.