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Sir David Miers was British Ambassador to Lebanon from 1983-1985 and Chairman of the British Lebanese Association from 1999-2011. His service in Lebanon occurred at a time of great turbulence and civil strife when various parts of Lebanon were occupied or controlled by Syrian, Israeli and UN forces; and for some of this time a multinational force composed of contingents from the USA, France, Italy, and Britain was stationed in Beirut itself. In addition, non-governmental militias representing different elements of the Lebanese population exercised control in their own areas. Throughout this period the authority of the Lebanese Government, itself an uneasy coalition, was recognised only in theory if at all; and neither the police, nor the armed forces of the Lebanese state were in a position to impose the authority of central government without the agreement of the local militias or occupying foreign forces.Sir David Miers will talk about his recollections, experiences and some of the lessons to be learnt from an eventful posting to Beirut which included several bouts of urban conflict, a lorry bomb attack, and the obligation to move his living and office accommodation no fewer than four times. He will offer some comments on political relations between Britain and Lebanon then and now and, in the light of a recent visit to Beirut, some reflections on what has changed since the 1980s and what has remained the same.The evening will be of the utmost interest to those who want to hear a sympathetic and informed witness to one of Lebanon's most extraordinary periods and how it continues to affect the fragile political landscape today.Sir David joined the British Diplomatic Service in 1961 and served in Japan, Laos, France, Iran and at the Foreign Office in London before becoming Ambassador to Lebanon. He also served as British Ambassador to Greece and The Netherlands. He is married to Imelda. They have three children.
Thursday 14th June 2012 The Royal Thames Yacht Club60 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LFFind on map Time: 6.30 for 6.45