Embassy officials initially scheduled to speak on November 1st at the University of Buckingham cancelled the engagements because of the current turmoil in the Middle East.
Dr Zalmai Rassoul, Ambassador to the UK for the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (the government in exile, as opposed to the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate), was one of the speakers. Also, Dr Chit Win and Mr Daw Kyi Thar, Minister Counsellor and Second Secretary, respectively, of the UK Embassy of the Republic of Myanmar, have cancelled speaking engagements at the University of Buckingham.
The event was organized by BUCSIS’s South and South East Asia Security Research Centre.
The cancellation announcement was made by the Associate Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and Director of the Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies (BUCSIS), Professor Julian Richards.
Richards said (via email): “Unfortunately, the international situation is such at the moment that many embassies around the world are withdrawing their representatives from public events, as they are nervous about being seen to take sides diplomatically in the Middle East situation in particular. Muhammad tried his best to keep this event on the rails, but the two speakers have now formally withdrawn, and we must admit defeat.”
The cancellation email sent on October 31st continued: “We hope to reschedule it for a future date…”