There were 257 diplomatic staff positions (not including UK Trade and Industry staff) in the middle east and south Asia in 2008. This number increased to 289 in 2009.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) prioritises its resources where they are most needed in order to deliver its departmental strategic objectives and we aim to respond quickly to any new priorities by moving existing staff resources to new locations when necessary. As such, it is not possible to estimate the number of staff that will be employed in the middle east and south Asia in each of the next five years.
While we do not envisage the number changing substantially, much will hinge on the FCO's future Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) settlement (covering financial years 2011-12 to 2013-14.