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Middle East: Diplomatic Service

Volume 470: debated on Friday 25 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many UK diplomats are serving in each post in (a) the Middle East and (b) South Asia. (179170)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) employs staff at its posts under a variety of terms and conditions, for example as casual staff and contractors. In addition, staff from other Government Departments, such as the Department for International Development, also work at our posts. The number of UK diplomats employed by the FCO at our posts in the Middle East and South Asia are listed in the following table.

Number

Middle East

Abu Dhabi

13

Alexandria

1

Algiers

13

Amman

27

Bahrain

9

Baghdad

33

Basra

11

Beirut

16

Cairo

33

Casablanca

1

Damascus

12

Doha

14

Dubai

26

Jedda

5

Jerusalem

12

Kuwait

20

Muscat

11

Rabat

12

Riyadh

29

Sana’a

14

Tehran

27

Tel Aviv

15

Tripoli

19

Tunis

8

South Asia

Chennai

21

Colombo

19

Dhaka

34

Islamabad

118

Kabul (includes Lashkar)

70

Karachi

6

Kathmandu

10

Kolkata

4

Mumbai

31

New Delhi

69

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many staff are expected to require additional language training as a result of the decision to increase the number of UK diplomats in the Middle East and South Asia by 30 per cent.; and if he will make a statement. (179171)

I refer the right hon. Member to my written ministerial statement of 23 January 2008, Official Report, columns 52-53WS.

We will provide training for staff going to the Middle East and South Asia in languages such as Arabic, Farsi, Dari, Pashto and Urdu wherever there is an operational requirement. We do not yet know precisely how many staff will require this. It will depend on a range of factors, including the location, role and existing language skills of each officer.