Venezuela: Mining

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered at on 20 March 2023.

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Photo of Andrew Lewer Andrew Lewer Conservative, Northampton South

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he has had recent discussions with his counterparts in (a) Brazil and (b) Colombia on tackling illegal mining in Venezuela.

Photo of David Rutley David Rutley Assistant Whip (HM Treasury), Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

UK ministers and senior officials regularly discuss regional security and environmental issues with the Brazilian and Colombian Governments. Whilst we have not recently discussed illegal mining in Venezuela, Secretary of State Thérèse Coffey met with the Brazilian Minister for Indigenous Peoples in January to discuss tackling illegal mining in the Amazon region, one of the key drivers of deforestation. During a recent visit to Colombia, I [Minister Rutley] met with President Petro and the Minister of Foreign Affairs to discuss shared priorities, including the UK's support to tackling environment and security issues. In my statement at the UN Security Council on 11 January, I [Minister Rutley] welcomed Colombian Government-led efforts to secure a ceasefire with armed groups, many of which are fighting for control of illicit economies, including illegal mining in Venezuela.

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