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Volume 408: debated on Thursday 3 July 2003

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To ask the Prime Minister what discussions he has held with United Kingdom companies concerning their investment strategies in Colombia; and what their participation will be in the forthcoming London conference on Colombia. [123445]

The intergovernmental meeting in London on 10 July is being held to address the issue of international assistance to Colombia. In that context, other mechanisms are more appropriate for discussing UK investment strategies. I hope that a high-level delegation of business leaders will visit Colombia early next year to look at the issues of trade and investment.

To ask the Prime Minister what advice he has (a) sought and (b) received from human rights groups concerning Colombia in respect of the London meeting on aid and support to Colombia on 9 July; and if he will make a statement. [123446]

The Government has regular meetings with UK and Colombian NGOs to discuss the situation in Colombia, in particular with respect to human rights. The meeting on 9 July in London between the Colombian government and representatives of a range of organisations including for example NGOs and human rights groups, will allow concerns to be raised directly with the Colombian authorities and then to present them to the intergovernmental meeting on 10 July.