FAREWELL MESSAGE FROM AMBASSADOR
Staff Reporter / 2007-05-09 13:19:37
Her Majesty's Ambassador to Spain, Sir Stephen Wright KCMG, leaves the country this week after four fascinating and enjoyable years
"My wife Abbey and I would like to express our heartfelt thanks to the people of Spain and to the British community for their hospitality over the past four years. We have enjoyed our stay in Spain immensely and have had the opportunity to visit every region of this fascinating country.
Much has happened over the last four years. Ten months after our arrival in Spain, we witnessed the outrageous terrorist attacks of 11 March 2004 in Madrid. Our thoughts will forever remain with the victims of these attacks in the same way that we will always remember with sincere gratitude the support and sympathy shown by the people of Spain in the aftermath of the 7 July 2005 bombings in London.
In my time as Ambassador, the United Kingdom and Spain have continued to work together as solid partners in the European Union, NATO and a series of other international organisations. Our two countries cooperate on global priorities such as climate change, the eradication of poverty and the fight against terrorism and organised crime. Our troops are working together in Afghanistan, Kosovo and Bosnia. Our navies train together at sea.
In the world of today, the United Kingdom and its allies have no other way to tackle common challenges than through joint and effective action. The need for a more competitive Europe or the responsibility of providing stability and security in a dangerous world are good examples.
I am delighted that the UK and Spain have been able to reach a series of agreements over Gibraltar which are now delivering tangible benefits to communities on both sides of the border. I am confident that the Trilateral Forum for Dialogue on Gibraltar will continue to make progress in improving the quality of life of the people of Gibraltar and the surrounding region.
The British Consular Network is undergoing a thorough modernisation process in order to provide a more professional and efficient service to the one million Britons living in Spain as well as to the 16 million that visit us every year. Honorary consuls have been appointed to cover areas such as Almeria, Murcia, Granada and Girona where there has been a significant increase in the number of British residents and tourists.
On behalf of Abbey and myself, I would once again like to thank all our Spanish and British friends for helping us do our work and making these four amazing years so gratifying."
Sir Stephen Wright KCMG
Her Majesty's Ambassador to Spain
Sir Stephen and Lady Wright will leave Spain on 10 May. The new Ambassador, Denise Holt, will arrive in Madrid at the end of May.