UK Ambassador to Cairo Geoffrey Adams bids Egyptians farewell after three ‘fantastic’ years

Amr Kandil , Friday 13 Aug 2021

“My father retired from the diplomatic service as British ambassador to Egypt nearly 50 years ago, and I’ll be doing exactly the same thing,” the ambassador said

British Ambassador
British Ambassador to Cairo Sir Geoffrey Adams

The UK’s Ambassador to Cairo Geoffrey Adams bid farewell to Egyptians after three “fantastic” years in Egypt, saying he and his spouse, Mary Emma, are “so grateful to everyone who made our time here so memorable.”

Adams posted a video on his Twitter account, confirming an end to his diplomatic career after 42 years of service.

“My father retired from the diplomatic service as British ambassador to Egypt nearly 50 years ago, and I’ll be doing exactly the same thing,” Adams said.

“I’ll be retiring from the diplomatic service, from this job and from this house, which is rather wonderful,” he added.

“Now, as I say my family and I are Nile drinkers, so this is not a goodbye, but until we meet again,” Adams said in Arabic.

The UK government announced in May that Gareth Bayley, the former prime minister’s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, will succeed Adams, who will be retiring from the diplomatic service.

Bayley is set to take up his appointment in September, according to the UK government.

“I’m coming to the end of my time here; my three years are up and I just wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who has helped make my time here especially memorable,” Adams said.

“Looking back on my time in Egypt, I think we can be quite proud of all that we have achieved together,” he added, including building a “stronger than ever” partnership between the two countries in many fields.

Adams mentioned a meeting between Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Prime Minister Boris Johnson at Downing Street in January 2020.

He said the two leaders “agreed that there were no limits on the relationship between the UK and Egypt, but as they put it: the sky is the limit. And I think we’ve done well since then to effect to what the leaders wanted”.

The fields of strong partnership between Egypt and the UK include trade and investment, security and regional challenges, Adams said, adding that the two countries also built a firm partnership on “perhaps the biggest challenge facing the world,” which is climate change.

Adams also mentioned the resumption of direct flights between the UK and the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh. “Thus, giving a boost to the Egyptian tourist industry."

The UK’s decision to resume flights in December 2019 ended a four-year ban on direct flights to Sharm El-Sheikh in the wake of the downing of a Russian passenger jet in 2015. Moscow also resumed flights to the Egyptian Red Sea resorts earlier in August.

Adams in the video said his successor, Bayley, is an old friend who served along with him twenty years ago. He said Bayley learned Arabic in Cairo and speaks Arabic very well.

On the personal level, Adams said he and his family have had a wonderful time in Egypt, travelled all over the country and met so “many wonderful people”.

“I’d like to end by thanking everyone who has helped me achieve what I have achieved here during the last three years,” Adams said, particularly thanking “wonderful colleagues here at the embassy with whom it’s been an absolute pleasure to work”.

Geoffrey Adams has served as the British ambassador to Egypt since September 2018 and served as head of mission in Egypt between 1998 and 2001. He joined the diplomatic service in 1979 and is a father of three.

The new ambassador, Gareth Bayley, joined the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in 1995 and served as the second secretary in the British embassy in Cairo between 1998 and 2002.

Short link: