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Official Engagements

Volume 471: debated on Thursday 31 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his official engagements were between 11 December 2007 and 13 January 2008. (179687)

Throughout the period 11 December 2007 to 13 January 2008,1 had various meetings in London and Scotland, including with ministerial colleagues and officials from the MOD and Scotland Office. On 11 December and 12 December, I had meetings with several families of troops who died on operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. On 12 December I attended the Scotch Whisky Association Reception in Dover House. On 14 and 15 December, I hosted a meeting in Edinburgh for the Defence and Foreign Ministers of nations contributing troops to NATO-led operations in southern Afghanistan. On, 17 December I discussed the outcome of the Edinburgh meeting with the NATO Secretary General and also met Ross Kemp to discuss his recent visit to Afghanistan. On 18 December I met representatives from Serco Defence, Science and Technology. On 19 December I held a video conference with representatives of the independent panel set up by the Canadian government to review their future role in Afghanistan (the Manley Panel). On 20 December, I took the salute at a passing out parade at the Army Training Regiment in Bassingbourn. On 3 and 4 January 2008, I visited Brussels for meetings with the UK ambassador to NATO and the UK delegation to the EU. On 5 January, I visited HQ Northern Ireland and was briefed by the General Officer Commanding. On 8 January, I had meetings with the Belgian ambassador and with Lieutenant General Mohan al-Firaji, Commander of Iraqi security operations in Basra, following which I gave evidence to the House of Commons Defence Committee on its inquiry into the future of NATO and European defence. On 10 January, I attended the House for a Defence debate on armed forces personnel. On 11 January, I hosted the pre-Budget report seminar in Edinburgh and visited the Army Personnel Centre in Glasgow. On 12 January, I attended a meeting of the Executive of the Scottish Labour Party in Stirling.