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Chile

Volume 82: debated on Tuesday 2 July 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs with which political parties in Chile his Department has made recent contact; and what were the reasons for such contacts.

We maintain contact with a broad range of democratic opinion in Chile to inform ourselves of developments in that country and to indicate our interest in a return to normal political life. Recent visitors have included Sr. Rene Abeliuk of the Social Democratic party and Sr. Genaro Arriagada of the Christian Democratic party. We hope that Sr. Fernando Ochagavia of the National party will be able to visit this country in July.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) if he will list all official delegations or Government-sponsored individuals or parties from Chile who have visited the United Kingdom since January 1983, stating in each case the purpose of the visit;(2) if he will list all occasions since January 1983 when United Kingdom Government or military officials have visited Chile, stating in each case the purpose of the visit.

The information is not readily available. I shall write to the hon. Member.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many meetings there have been with representatives of the Chilean armed forces in each year since 1979.

The United Kingdom has had normal diplomatic relations with Chile since 1980. Meetings with Chilean officials and representatives of the Chilean armed forces are consistent with this policy.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the purpose of the visit of generals of the Chilean armed forces to Britain.

As I told the hon. Member on 11 June, at column 415, visits such as that of members of the Chilean National Academy of Political and Strategic Studies, which took place last week, are part of the normal pattern of our relations with Chile.