|British High Commissioner to Tonga|
|Prime Minister|| Theresa May |
|Preceded by||Independent office re-established replacing Melanie Hopkins as non-resident High Commissioner (Paul Nessling last resident High Commissioner in 2006)|
|British Ambassador to Turkmenistan|
December 2016 –2019
|Prime Minister|| Theresa May |
|Preceded by||Sanjay Wadvani|
|Succeeded by||Hugh Philpott|
|Born||11 February 1955|
Thorhilda Mary Vivia "Thorda" Abbott-Watt OBE (born 11 February 1955) is a British diplomat who currently serves as Ambassador to Turkmenistan.
Abbott-Watt was born in London on 11 February 1955.Her father was a soldier and diplomat; and her mother was a premiere danseuse with the Ballet Russe. She was educated at Stonar School, Wiltshire.
Abbott-Watt joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1974 and has worked both in London and in a number of countries in South America, the Far East and Western and Eastern Europe. In 1989 she served in the team negotiating the renunciation of Four Power Rights in Germany. From 2001 to 2002 she was Chargée d'Affaires, opening the first British Embassy in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
Abbott-Watt was Ambassador to Armenia from 2003 to 2005. In 2004, questions were raised about her competency in a letter to Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary Jack Straw by scholar Tessa Hofmann and the International Group on Genocide Recognition and Prevention, after she made a statement at a press conference on 20 January 2004 questioning the use of the term genocide for the Armenian Genocide. Abbott-Watt said, "Great Britain accepts that the events of 1915 were mass killings [of the Armenian population] – the responsible for which are the Turks. I see no problem calling it brutality. It shouldn’t have taken place even in the course of war. But I do not think that recognizing the events as genocide would be of much use."
In 2006 Miss Abbott-Watt worked briefly as Head of Political and Military Section in Kabul, then undertook an attachment to UK Trade and Industry as Head of Strategy and Innovation. Abbott-Watt served as Ambassador to Mongolia from 2008 to 2009 and from 2010 to 2012. On 9 May 2016, she was appointed Ambassador to Turkmenistan.
She was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2017 Birthday Honours.In 2020, Abbott-Watt was made the first British High Commissioner to Tonga since 2006 with the re-opening of an embassy in Nuku'alofa.
Abbott-Watt is married to Reef Talbot Hogg.
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