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Diplomatic Relations

Volume 886: debated on Thursday 13 February 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the countries with which the United Kingdom currently has no diplomatic relations, indicating in each case the outstanding problems preventing resumption.

Diplomatic relations with Albania were broken off in 1947 as a result of the Corfu channel incident the previous year. We have made it clear that we should be glad to find a way round the well-known obstacles that have prevented the restoration of diplomatic relations for so long. In the Albanian view, however, this question is linked with the longstanding problem of the gold formerly belonging to the prewar Bank of Albania. The solution to this problem does not depend on us alone.Diplomatic relations with Guatemala were broken off by the Guatemalans in 1963, allegedly because of British aggression. Consular relations have been maintained since then. Her Majesty's Government are ready to consider restoring diplomatic relations at any time, although Guatemala's claim of sovereignty over the British dependency of Belize is an obstacle to the resumption of full relations.We have not recognised North Korea and, therefore, the question of diplomatic relations has never arisen.