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Departmental Advisers

Volume 174: debated on Thursday 14 June 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the advisers to his Department, and the area of work for which their advice was required, for the period since 1 January 1984.

There are two special advisers at present, Mr. D. Lidington and Mr. M. Fraser. Their role is to consider the presentational and domestic political aspects of policy issues, including those for which the Foreign and Commonwealth Office does not have lead responsibility. Others who have held the post during the period since January 1984 are Mr. J. Houston, Mr. A. Teasdale and Mr. A. Fergusson.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement outlining the courses of action available to Her Majesty's Government (a) in the prevention of the settlement of Russian emigrants in territories illegally occupied by Israel and (b) to persuade Israel to take part in a conference with a view to negotiating a settlement of the Arab-Israel dispute.

The Israelis are well aware of our view that the settlement of Soviet Jews in the occupied territories, including east Jerusalem, is both illegal and a serious obstacle to peace and should not be permitted. We are working closely with the United States and other interested parties to encourage Israel to open a dialogue with representative Palestinians as a first step towards a comprehensive settlement of the Arab-Israel dispute which will have to be negotiated at an international conference.