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Volume 77: debated on Monday 15 April 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what arrangements are made for diplomats to receive training in modern Hebrew, along the lines of the detailed arrangements for Arabic described in the answer of 18 July 1984, Official Report, column 243; and how many serving diplomats have received training in both languages.

Intensive training in Hebrew, for which the Diplomatic Service has a much smaller requirement (one officer every four years) than for Arabic, is carried out in Israel.The students attends an ulpan (a language school which is part of a kibbutz) for a course of five months' duration. Helives on the kibbutz and participates in its activities. He spends a further period of about two months at a university before taking up a diplomatic post in Israel.No serving officer has been trained in both Hebrew and Arabic, though one Arabist currently in London has some knowledge of Hebrew.