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Volume 464: debated on Wednesday 10 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he had with his European counterparts on a European Union military mission to Chad during the meeting of Foreign Ministers in Viana do Castelo, Portugal, 7 to 8 September 2007; and if he will make a statement. (156603)

The EU General Affairs and External Relations Council on 23 July approved a European Security and Defence Policy mission to Chad as a bridging force until the UN itself is able to deploy a peacekeeping mission there. The UK strongly endorsed this proposed deployment. The meeting of Foreign Ministers in Viana do Castelo, Portugal, on 7 to 8 September, discussed the implementation of this decision.

On 25 September the UK co-sponsored UN Security Council Resolution 1778, which authorised the deployment of an EU military mission to Chad and the Central African Republic and approved a UN multi-dimensional mission to operate in co-operation with the EU force. The UK hopes that both the EU mission and the UN multi-dimensional mission will be able to deploy before the end of the year.