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Paraguay: Embassies

Volume 458: debated on Wednesday 14 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs for what reasons the British Embassy in Paraguay was closed. (126996)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) regrets having to close posts in any part of its overseas network. Such decisions are always difficult. The decision to close our embassy in Asuncion was part of a global reorganisation of our overseas network in response to changing demands and challenges, aimed at ensuring that the UK has a cost-effective and flexible network of overseas representation.

The decision was in no way a reflection on the quality of our bilateral relations. As we made clear to the Paraguayan Government, we value the excellent relations we have with Paraguay.

Since the closure of our embassy in Asuncion, coverage has been maintained from our embassy in Buenos Aires where our ambassador to Paraguay resides. In addition, the FCO has appointed an honorary consul based in Asuncion to provide emergency consular assistance. Contact details for both can be found on our website at:

www.fco.gov.uk/paraguay.