Diplomatic Posts

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 24th February 2005.

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Photo of Mr Tam Dalyell Mr Tam Dalyell Labour, Linlithgow

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs for what reasons he is closing the British Embassy in Madagascar.

Photo of Chris Mullin Chris Mullin Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Foreign & Commonwealth Office

As my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary made clear in his written statement on 15 December 2004, Hansard, columns 137–40WS, we are making changes to our overseas network to reflect changing demands and challenges and to ensure the UK has a cost-effective and flexible network of overseas representation. This involves the closure of several diplomatic posts including the British Embassy in Antananarivo.

This is in no way a reflection on the current Government of Madagascar or on the quality of our bilateral relations. We will work with the Government of Madagascar to establish alternative forms of British representation, probably through an Honorary Consul in Antananarivo, supported by non-resident accreditation from one of our diplomatic posts in the region.

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