Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : British Embassy Tripoli King’s Birthday Party 2023 – UK ambassador’s speech [June 2023]

The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 12 June 2023.

His Majesty’s Ambassador to Libya Caroline Hurndall gave a speech at The King’s Birthday Party in Tripoli, Libya, on 11 June 2023.

Your Excellencies, distinguished guests and colleagues, ladies and gentlemen.

Thank you all for attending our King’s Birthday Party this evening – the first we have held to mark the official birthday of His Majesty King Charles III. And a special thank you to our sponsors: The Al-Sahl Holding Group, Gazelle Express Services, The Libya Cons tech group, and the British Arab Commercial Bank. Whose kind sponsorship has made this event possible.

We are gathered today to celebrate an historic occasion. On the 6th of May 2023, His Majesty the King was crowned, the first British monarch to be crowned in 70 years.

I was delighted that His Excellency Dr Almnefi represented Libya at the Coronation in a demonstration of the friendship between our 2 countries.

Something you may not know is that the King has visited Libyan shores! In 1954, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth made her second-ever state visit, to Tobruk. His Majesty the King, along with his sister Princess Anne, came to meet Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth on board the Royal Yacht Britannia at Tobruk!

Throughout his life, His Majesty has supported a wide variety of causes relating to the environment, rural communities, the arts, healthcare and education.

His Coronation ceremony celebrated the issues most important to him: youth, community, diversity, and sustainability.

I am pleased to do the same here tonight, with a display of artwork by Libyan artists. The pictures celebrate Libya’s beautiful landscape and rich diversity and communities. Do take a moment to have a look at them this evening.

Indeed, as I reflect on nearly 2 years as the British Ambassador to Libya, one of the things I have most enjoyed is meeting Libyans from different communities around the country.

I have been privileged to visit many different areas, from Tripoli to Misrata, to Sirte, to Benghazi, to Tobruk. And to see the rich jewels of Libya’s history, including Leptis Magna and Cyrene.

I am proud that, since we formally re-opened the embassy 1 year ago, the UK and Libya have continued to strengthen our cooperation, touching the lives of Libyans across the whole country. This includes:

  • UK-Libyan bilateral trade in goods and services has reached £1.5 billion. We welcomed the first business delegation since 2014, as well as the launch of the first UK Trade Organisation to be based in Libya
  • UK-funded projects have cleared 8000 explosive remnants of war across Libya since 2021
  • 175 English teachers benefited from British Council programmes to train teachers of English, reaching approximately 18,000 students across Libya
  • 17 Libyan scholars studied in the UK last year, with their studies fully funded by the Chevening scholarship
  • the UK provided £12 million for Libya through the Education Cannot Wait programme, working with UNICEF, to support children impacted by conflict and instability to access basic education
  • and we welcomed the British ship HMS Albion, strengthening cooperation with the Libyan Navy and Military Medical Corps

I am excited by the possibilities for the relationship between UK and Libya to strengthen and grow.

Of course, our partnership will flourish best amidst political and economic stability and security. That requires Libya’s leaders to come together to pursue compromise and cooperation and deliver on the democratic aspirations of the Libyan people.

I would like to take this opportunity to invite Libya’s leaders to be inspired, as I am, by King Charles who on the occasion of his Coronation, rededicated his life to the service of the people of his country. I hope they find themselves able to follow his example, and make the choices and compromises needed to put their people first.

Finally, thank you again for joining us this evening to celebrate both the King’s coronation, and his official birthday. Please would you join me in raising a glass to His Majesty King Charles III

Your Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen. The King.