§ Lord Jopling
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What discussions they are having with the Greek Government and the organisers of the 2004 Olympic Games with a view to sending armed police or other security protection for British competitors and officials; and how many such armed personnel they are proposing to send. [HL2478]
§ The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean)
We are in close contact with the Greek Government and the Greek security authorities both bilaterally and multilaterally, through NATO and our membership of the seven-country Olympic Advisory Group (OAG), which has been advising the Greek Government on security arrangements for the Olympics since December 2000. The OAG meets on a monthly basis in Athens and a senior officer of the Metropolitan Police Service acts as the informal chair of the group.
On the bilateral level we maintain a dialogue with the Greek authorities on all aspects of security affecting British nationals, the members of the British team, and visitors who will be attending the Games. As my right honourable friend the Prime Minister said in the House on 5 May, "we have every faith in the manner in which the Greek authorities are handling matters".
For reasons I am sure you will appreciate we do not comment in detail on security matters. I am therefore withholding this information under Exemption 1a of Part 2 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information, which covers information whose disclosure would harm national security.