§ Julie Morgan
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs for what reasons he has proposed the closure of the British Embassy in Nicaragua. 
§ Mr. Rammell
Changing strategic priorities require the Foreign and Commonwealth Office constantly to adapt and amend its pattern of representation overseas. In order to free up resources to strengthen the UK's diplomatic network in other parts of the world now more critical for UK interests, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has agreed that over the next three years the FCO should restructure its global diplomatic representation.
In the Americas, this will be achieved through a small number of post closures, chiefly in Central America. The Foreign Secretary made a written ministerial statement on 21 March 2003, Official Report, column 57WS, announcing the changes. Early next year, our ambassador and his staff in Managua will be withdrawn. We propose to appoint the senior representative from tile Department for International Development in Managua as Chargé d' Affaires together with an honorary consul. Our ambassador in San Jose will be accredited to Managua.