He married Julia Lyndall Weiner, a social worker and sister of Edmund Weiner
(deputy Chief Editor of the Oxford English Dictionary
) in 1968. They had four children: three sons (1972, 1973 and 1977) – including the journalist and author Hugh Miles
– and one daughter (1979). Oliver had eleven grandchildren; the eldest was born in 2006 and the youngest in 2018.
Oliver Miles joined Her Majesty's Diplomatic Service
in 1960, serving overseas mainly in the Arab world
as well as spending periods at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
. In 1964, he was posted as Second Secretary
, and as First Secretary
in 1966. Miles was appointed Private Secretary
to the British High Commissioner
in 1967. In 1970, he was posted to Nicosia
and returned to London after three years. He was appointed Counsellor
in 1975, and moved to Athens
in 1977. He became Head of the FCO's Near East and North African Department in 1980. He was appointed HM Ambassador to Libya
in 1984, where he broke off diplomatic relations
after the murder of WPC Yvonne Fletcher
outside the Libyan embassy in London. Later in 1984, Miles moved to the UK Mission to the United Nations, New York and, from 1985 to 1988, he was Ambassador to Luxembourg
After retiring from HM Diplomatic Service in 1996 Miles joined MEC International, a consultancy promoting business with the Middle East
, and became chairman a decade later. He was for some years president of the Society for Libyan Studies, a learned society under the aegis of the British Academy
, and chairman of HOST, a charity which arranges visits to British homes for foreign students in Britain.
From 2004 to 2019 he was Deputy Chairman of the Libyan British Business Council, set up with the approval of the British and Libyan Governments to promote trade and investment.
In April 2004, Miles initiated a controversial letter to Prime Minister, Tony Blair
, signed by 52 retired ambassadors and calling for a new approach to policy in Palestine
Subsequently, he wrote a long series of articles that were published in The Guardian
An article in August 2008, entitled "The long road to normalisation", asked rhetorically
whether the recently signed compensation agreement between the United States
The article concluded:
The most important compensation issue, Lockerbie
, has been settled on the basis that Libya agreed to hand over two suspects for trial in the Scottish courts and to accept responsibility for their actions. One was acquitted, the other convicted
, but his conviction has been called into question by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission
. There is the possibility of a retrial, and it remains to be seen what effect that might have on the Libya/America soap opera.
- ^ "Oliver Miles, diplomat and Arabist who later criticised Tony Blair over the rebuilding of Iraq after the invasion – obituary". The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group Limited. 12 December 2019. Retrieved 13 December 2019.
- ^ "MEC International". Archived from the original on 2010-11-05. Retrieved 2009-01-12.
- ^ Levens, R.G.C., ed. (1964). Merton College Register 1900-1964. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. p. 480.
- ^ The Diplomatic Service List 1989 (page 253), HMSO, ISBN 0-11-591707-1
- ^ "No. 49583". The London Gazette. 31 December 1983. p. 4.
- ^ "HOST welcomes international students in the UK!". Retrieved 2009-01-12.
- ^ "In memoriam: Oliver Miles CMG". Libyan British Business Council. Retrieved 13 December 2019.
- ^ Tom Gross (28 April 2004). "Backlash begins against ex-diplomats' "poisonous views" on Iraq, Israel". Retrieved 2009-01-12.
- ^ "Oliver Miles – Profile". London: The Guardian. 2008-03-27. Retrieved 2009-01-12.
- ^ Oliver Miles (2008-08-16). "The long road to normalisation". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-01-12.
- ^ "The key question – is Blair a war criminal?". The Independent on Sunday. London. 2009-11-22. Retrieved 2010-01-12.
- ^ Cesarani, David (29 January 2010). "Britain's affair with antisemitism". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 25 March 2010.
Last edited on 17 December 2020, at 19:59
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