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Ministerial Meetings

Volume 579: debated on Tuesday 8 April 2014

3. If he will make it his policy to publish a list of all meetings between Ministers of his Department and officials since May 2010. (903575)

We publish details of ministerial meetings with external organisations on a quarterly basis, but in line with the practice of previous Governments, we do not intend to publish a list of meetings between Ministers and their departmental officials.

Will the Minister tell the House whether at the meeting that the Foreign Office had on 24 February with Dmitry Firtash the question of asset freezes or sanctions was discussed?

I am obviously not going to go into details of what may or may not have been discussed at a meeting, particularly one at which I was not present, but it remains the case that Foreign Office officials and Ministers speak to people of all types from many different parts of the world with a single objective in mind, which is how best to enhance the United Kingdom’s understanding of global events and strengthen its interest in world affairs.

Given today’s visit, can the Minister confirm whether he has had any meetings with the Republic of Ireland’s Foreign Minister about its entering the British Commonwealth?

Not to my knowledge. We take the view that this is a matter for the Government of Ireland. Clearly, there are strong bonds of friendship and history between the two countries, but it has to be a matter for the Irish people and the Irish Government to decide about any relationship with the Commonwealth.