Thursday, 12 February 2004

Questions (133)

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

130 Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if it is intended to open further embassies throughout the world; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4478/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Foreign)

The spread of resident Irish missions abroad is reviewed by the Government on an ongoing basis, with decisions to open new missions being based on a thorough assessment of the costs and benefits involved.

In 2001, the Government decided to open new embassies in a number of EU candidate countries on a phased basis, subject to the availability of the necessary resources. New embassies have since been established in Estonia, Slovenia, Slovakia and Cyprus, and also in Brazil. In addition, in order to ensure the most effective management of the enlargement dossier during our Presidency, we have opened offices in Bulgaria and Romania for the period of our Presidency. The opening of additional missions will be kept under ongoing review, in the context of the availability of resources.

Question No. 131 answered with QuestionNo. 34.
Questions Nos. 132 and 133 answered with Question No. 43.