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Departmental Visits Abroad

Volume 488: debated on Wednesday 25 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answer of 18 December 2008, Official Report, column 1996W, on departmental visits abroad, what the purpose was of each of the visits to the US. (257289)

My previous answer included official visits made by me, the Minister of State for Northern Ireland and officials.

The United States has played and continues to play a critical role in the political process. Their involvement is crucial in securing further progress towards the devolution of policing and justice and investment in Northern Ireland. Successive Secretaries of State have worked closely with the United States and have made regular visits to discuss policy. I continue this policy.

In addition officials have gone to the United States on official business for the purposes of learning and sharing knowledge (e.g. presenting evidence at the United Nations building).

All travel is undertaken in accordance with departmental rules and the Civil Service Management Code.