Politics: Diplomatic Service: Envoy numbers to be boosted

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The Independent Online
BRITAIN'S DIPLOMATIC representation will be increased in emerging markets as part of a drive to secure more exports and cope with the changing international power structure, the Foreign Secretary announced yesterday.

In a sweeping review of the Foreign Office's estate, Robin Cook said 200 more members of the Diplomatic Service are to be appointed; total staff will be boosted by 375. A further 21 diplomatic personnel will be placed in countries applying to join the European Union, as well as a strengthening of representation in the Caspian region and China, Japan, India and Sweden. There will also be another 33 diplomatic staff appointed to other member-states of the European Union.

The Foreign Secretary disclosed that savings of pounds 100m had been identified from sale of redundant overseas property. Whereas ministers at one point contemplated the closure of up to 30 embassies and consulates, now only five outposts, none of which is an embassy, will be shut.

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