HL Deb 21 February 2005 vol 669 cc163-4WA
Baroness Hooper

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What are their reasons for the closure of the British Embassy in Asuncion, Paraguay. [HL1357]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean

As I made clear in my Written Statement on 15 December (Official Report, cols. WS 84–88), the decision to close the British Embassy in Asuncion forms a part of a global reorganisation involving changes in a number of embassies and offices in different countries throughout the world. These changes reflect changing demands and challenges, and the need better to align our resources with our priorities, to maximise efficiency, and to ensure that the UK has a cost-effective and flexible network of overseas representation.

The decision in no way reflects on the quality of our bilateral relations. As we have made clear to the Paraguayan Government, we value the excellent relations we have with them and see no reason why that relationship should not be maintained when we establish coverage from our embassy in Buenos Aires.