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Bolivia: Official Visits

Volume 464: debated on Monday 15 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what role his Department played in the visit to the UK of Bolivian opposition Senator Oscar Oritz Anselo; which elements of Mr. Anselo’s programme have been organised by his Department; what future meetings are planned between his Department and Bolivian opposition leaders; what steps he is taking to develop relations with the democratically-elected President and government of Bolivia; and how many visits his Department has facilitated to the UK on the part of Bolivian government representatives since May 2006. (157947)

Through our Embassy in La Paz, Senator Oscar Ortiz asked the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to make parliamentarians, and others with an interest in Bolivia, aware of his visit to the UK. We responded to this request and also informed the Bolivian Embassy in London.

Since May 2006 the FCO has not facilitated any visits to the UK on behalf of the Bolivian government. However, Bolivian Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca made a private visit to the UK in June 2007. The FCO was informed of this visit shortly beforehand and responded to a request to arrange a call on my right hon. Friend the then Minister for Sport (Mr. Richard Caborn).

Our relationship with Bolivia continues to develop. We maintain a dialogue with the Bolivian Government and also welcome engagement with all political parties in Bolivia. The UK works with the Bolivian government, both bilaterally and through the EU, on a range of issues, including counter-narcotics, climate change, security sector reform and energy. The UK also supports projects in these and other areas in Bolivia, at national and local government level.