Andrew Green (diplomat)
Sir Andrew Green, KCMG (born 6 August 1941) is a British former diplomat and the founding chairman of the organization MigrationWatch UK, an organisation concerned with what they view as unacceptably high levels of immigration to the United Kingdom.
Background and education
He served his National Service as an officer in the Royal Green Jackets, before joining HM Diplomatic Service, where he learnt to speak Arabic whilst at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Middle East Centre for Arab Studies in Lebanon.
Green joined the British Diplomatic Service in 1965, where he worked for 35 years, spending the majority of his career in the Arab world, where he served in six posts. The remainder of his service was divided between London, Paris, and Washington DC. He was HM Ambassador to Syria (1991–94) and then Director for the Middle East at the Foreign Office, before serving as Ambassador to Saudi Arabia for four and a half years. Green retired in June 2000.
Since retiring, Green has devoted his time to voluntary work. He is a former Chairman of Medical Aid for Palestinians (a British charity seeking to improve health care for Palestinians both in Palestine and in the diaspora in refugee camps), a member of the Advisory Board of the Sudan, and on the board of Christian Solidarity Worldwide (a human rights organisation which speaks for Christians and others around the world who are suffering persecution for their religious beliefs).
Green is regularly interviewed on British television and radio as a voice opposed to high levels of immigration, as Founding Chairman of MigrationWatch UK. Green states that his awareness of the significance of issue of immigration when he was the Foreign Secretary's principal adviser on the Middle East in the mid-1990s. At that time he spent two years working, on the Prime Minister's instructions, to remove Islamic extremist Mohammad al-Massari from Britain but was frustrated by the British courts despite having UK Government support. In December 2001, he co-founded Migration Watch UK with David Coleman, Professor of Demography at Oxford University.
The dramatic change in the terms of the immigration debate over recent months is largely down to the determination and courage of a single individual – Sir Andrew Green, the founder and chairman of MigrationWatch UK. Almost single-handedly, he has rescued the national discourse from the twin inanities of saloon-bar bigotry on the Right and politically correct McCarthyism on the Left.
He has been and always will be one of the great ambassadors, an awesome figure on the Arab stage. The first time we heard him speak for MigrationWatch, soon after his retirement, it was quite a shock. Although I have great respect for him, I have great concern about the consequences of what he is saying.
Similarly, Chris Doyle, head of the Council for Arab-British Understanding, has stated that Green has had "many fans in the Arab world and a distinguished career in the Middle East", and that: "He believes in a just peace for Palestinians but obviously many Palestinians and Arabs will disagree with the views that MigrationWatch expresses".
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