Foreign Office Travel Advisory 311.
(photo credit: .)
LONDON – The newly appointed head of the Foreign Office, Simon Fraser, resigned
from another diplomatic position 20 years ago after becoming romantically
involved with a Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) official just prior to
the Madrid peace accords.
The new permanent under secretary of the
Foreign Office became private secretary to the then-minister of state in the
Foreign Office, William Waldegrave, in 1989, but resigned a year later after the
“It is not our policy to comment on gossip,” the
Foreign Office said in a statement.
However, a Foreign Office source told
The Jerusalem Post
on Tuesday that Fraser felt dutybound at the time to inform
Waldegrave because of the conflict of interest. The source said the official for
the then-banned PLO was living in London at the time; the two got to know each
other and established a romantic relationship.
“Simon considered his
position and decided that the relationship could cause problems, so on his own
volition he explained his situation to Waldegrave and decided it sensible to
stand down. He has since gone on to enjoy a stellar career,” the source
After resigning, Fraser moved to a different portfolio in the
“No one should read anything into this and to how Simon
will approach his work as permanent under secretary of the Foreign Office,” the
Foreign Secretary William Hague announced Fraser’s
appointment at the end of last month. Prior to his appointment, Fraser was
permanent secretary at the Department for Business, Innovation and
Prior to this he had been director- general for Europe and
Globalization in the Foreign Office.
He began his career as a Middle East
expert, serving in the British embassies in Baghdad and Damascus.
energy and leadership will help ensure an ambitious foreign office that leads
Britain’s efforts overseas and across government,” Hague said.