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Volume 407: debated on Monday 23 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the present situation in Mauritania. [119763]

The situation in Mauritania, although still tense, is returning to normal following a coup attempt on 8 to 9 June 2003. This attempt has failed. Mauritanian Government forces have re-taken areas seized by the rebels, arrested coup leaders and are mopping up the remaining pockets of resistance.My right hon. Friend the Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Mike O'Brien) issued a press release on 10 June 2003 deploring the attempted coup and my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister sent President Taya a message of sympathy.