Blog from the press office in the FCO. This section responds to articles in the press, announces important events and clarifies any inaccuracies.
Read all our postings in our full archive.
Foreign Office Minister, Chris Bryant, is travelling to Chile for the inauguration of President-elect Piñera on Thursday 11 March.
The Minister will also see areas of Santiago affected by the recent earthquake and how UK aid is being put to use.
This includes the delivery on Monday of 600 tents from the UK which will provide temporary accommodation for up to 3,000 people, a £250,000 donation to the Red Cross to help with immediate needs for water, sanitation and shelter and a 15% contribution to the €3 million pledged by the EU Commission in ‘fast-track primary emergency’ funds to provide immediate relief to Chile. The Minister will also meet British business leaders.
Chris Bryant will be available for short interviews (in either English or Spanish) by telephone (and for broadcast if required) during the visit. Opportunities will be limited and by arrangement only. Please contact the FCO Press Office on 0207 008 3100 to register an interest.
Chris Bryant, Minister for Europe will visit Spain this weekend where he will discuss a wide range of issues affecting British citizens moving to and living in Spain. He will start his visit in Torrevieja on Saturday. At a public event in the evening at the Hotel Cabo Cervera, he will take questions from British residents on issues including property, pensions and voting while living abroad.
The Minister will then meet with British families affected by a demolition order in Albox in Andalucia on Sunday, where he will listen to their concerns and show his support for their situation. He will also meet the Mayor of Albox, José García Navarro.
Chris Bryant will then meet with Gaspar Zarrías, Minister of State for Territorial Affairs, and Juan Espadas Cejas, Consejero de Vivienda y Ordenacion de Territorio at the Junta de Andalucia on Sunday at the British Consulate in Malaga. They are expected to make a joint annoucement on improving services to British residents in Andalucia.
For further information see: http://ukinspain.fco.gov.uk/en/news/?view=PressR&id=21844249
In response to this article, the FCO today issued the following statement.
An FCO spokesperson said:
“It is nonsense to suggest that a joint letter from David Miliband and Carl Bildt shows the UK ‘turning on’ Baroness Ashton. In fact, the letter strongly supports Baroness Ashton’s vision for the External Action Service - as it explicitly states four times. The letter expresses concern about the institutional battles going on in Brussels, and warns against the danger of a less ambitious External Action Service. Cathy Ashton has Britain’s full and unequivocal support as she works hard to shape an ambitious Service that will make the EU a truly global player.”
The Foreign Secretary David Miliband also said:
“Our letter shows our clear and unequivocal support for Cathy Ashton’s efforts to ensure an effective External Action Service for the EU. Any suggestion to the contrary is utterly ridiculous.”