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Colombia

Volume 406: debated on Wednesday 11 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many UK military personnel are in Colombia; and under which command they operate. [118599]

[holding answer 10 June 2003]: In addition to military personnel attached to the British Embassy in Bogota, there are a small number of other personnel providing advice and training assistance to the Columbians, the nature of which is confidential between governments. I am therefore withholding further information under Exemption 1 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information (information the disclosure of which would be harmful to national security, defence or international relations).

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what training facilities are offered to members of the Colombian military in (a) the UK and (b) Colombia; and if he will make a statement. [118600]

[holding answer 10 June 2003]: An invitation for a Colombian military officer to attend the Advanced Command and Staff Course at the Joint Services Command and Staff College, Shrivenham, commencing in August 2003, has been issued to the Colombian military authorities and accepted. We do, from time to time, send military liaison teams to Colombia to provide advice and training assistance. The nature of this advice and assistance is confidential between governments and I am withholding the details under Exemption 1 of the code of practice on access to Government Information, which covers information whose disclosure would be harmful to national security, defence or international relations.