Sir Geoffrey Adams joined us on Tuesday to speak about the future of the Middle East and his experiences as a senior member of Her Majesty’s Diplomatic Service.
Sir Geoffrey has dedicated the entirety of his professional career to serving the UK at home and abroad. As a former British Consul-General to Jerusalem, UK ambassador to Iran, and Principal Private Secretary to the Foreign Minister, Sir Geoffrey was able to offer an insider’s perspective on past, present, and future Western relations with the Middle East.
He began the evening humbly, acknowledging the relative limitations of his experiences and requesting that audience members share any personal, familial, or cultural reflections. Reflecting on the recent protests in Iran, as well as identifying key ways in which the West can support Middle Eastern peace and development efforts. A notable point made was that the most recent clashes between the Iranian regime and its people indicate progress but will most likely result in more of the same.
Concluding his remarks, Sir Geoffrey commented on the future of UK involvement in the Middle East, holding that the UK and other Western powers were “in for the long haul” and encouraging students to pursue a challenging, yet rewarding career assisting the people of the region.
What followed this short introduction was one of the most rigorous Q&A-based discussions in Club history. Students of all backgrounds and disciplines called on Sir Geoffrey’s expert opinion to answer questions about the history, politics, and economics of the region.
Diplomatic careers, the US embassy move to Jerusalem, rising Islamophobia in the West, the unrest in the Persian Gulf, and the situation in Syria were among the many topics covered during the 40 minute session.
A balance of both theoretical and technical questions led to a detailed, frank discussion on the past, present, and future of the Middle East.