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Drug Trafficking

Volume 405: debated on Wednesday 14 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with (a) Commonwealth members from the Caribbean, (b) other Caribbean governments, (c) Venezuelan authorities, (d) Colombian authorities and (e) the USA on ways in which co-operation and joint operations can combat drug trafficking from the Caribbean coast of South America; and if he will make a statement. [111566]

The UK maintains an active dialogue on drugs trafficking with Caribbean and South American countries. In November, I had a detailed discussion in London with Jamaica's Minister for National Security, Dr. Peter Phillips, on the challenges he faces; and last July, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister met President Uribe of Colombia and underlined the importance he attaches to co-operation on drugs issues.We support a range of projects in the region to strengthen law enforcement capability in producer and transit countries, often in co-operation with the US. In the Caribbean, a British Military Advisory and Training Team from the Royal Navy is providing maritime skills to enable local coastguards to intercept consignments of drugs. The local US Embassy is providing the same coastguard detachments with vessels in which to conduct their operations.