UK to reopen embassy in Madagascar

2012-10-23 20:43

London - Britain is to reopen its embassy in Madagascar seven years after it was closed to cut costs, Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Tuesday.

Hague said the embassy in Antananarivo would open in the coming days and would be fully operational by March, with Timothy Smart taking up the post of ambassador this month.

"Having a fully accredited British ambassador and embassy in Antananarivo will enable us to provide more effective systematic support to British business, a stronger trade and investment relationship with Madagascar, and full consular assistance to British residents and visitors," Hague said.

"The resources of a full embassy will also allow us to work more effectively with the international community to support Madagascar's return to a fully recognised constitutional government after free and fair elections."

Britain's former Labour government closed the embassy in 2005. The Foreign Office has operated a British Interests Section at the German embassy in Antananarivo since 2008.

The reopening is part of efforts to expand Britain's diplomatic network which Hague said would see 11 new embassies and eight consulates established across the world by 2015.