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Damascus: Entry Clearances

Volume 470: debated on Thursday 17 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the restricted visa service at the British embassy in Damascus. (179385)

A restricted visa service has been in operation at our embassy in Damascus since 2 May 2007 for security reasons. Arrangements are therefore in place for Syrian nationals and others resident in Syria to apply at our embassies in Amman or Beirut. It will not be possible for a full service to be resumed until the embassy has relocated to a new building. This is likely to take at least two years. Any inconvenience caused is regretted.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the British embassy in Damascus will resume a full visa service; and if he will make a statement. (179387)

A restricted visa service has been in operation at our embassy in Damascus since 2 May 2007 for security reasons. Arrangements are therefore in place for Syrian nationals and others resident in Syria to apply at our embassies in Amman or Beirut. It will not be possible for a full service to be resumed until the embassy has relocated to a new building. This is likely to take at least two years. Any inconvenience caused is regretted.