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Volume 455: debated on Tuesday 16 January 2007

14. To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans she has to improve UK-Venezuelan relations following the recent election victory of Hugo Chavez. (115414)

We continue to engage actively with the Government of Venezuela. It is in the interests of both our Governments to work together on issues such as police reform and combating the illegal drugs trade. The UK also continues to highlight the importance we accord to issues such as media freedom.

During his recent inauguration speech, President Chavez set out plans to do more to tackle corruption in Venezuela. Any such effort would provide a good basis for strengthening our cooperation on counter-narcotics.