To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the Government took to strengthen formal oversight of US use of Diego Garcia after the disclosure in 2008 that two US rendition flights had refuelled there in 2002.
10 November 2014
My honourable friend refers to the US Government’s disclosure in 2008 that, contrary to earlier assurances, two flights carrying a detainee landed and refuelled on Diego Garcia in 2002. Following this disclosure, the US Government assured Her Majesty’s Government that these had been the only two cases and that there would be no future transfer of detainees through the UK, its airspace or Overseas Territories without express permission; and stated that, should there be any doubt as to whether any operation falls outside the Exchange of Notes that govern the use of Diego Garcia, the US Government would consult the UK Government. Since that time, Her Majesty’s Government has sought regular reassurance from the US Government, including by means of annual political-military talks between senior officials, that all previous assurances on transfer of detainees provided by the US Government since 2008 remain valid and correct. In addition, the Officer in Charge of the United Kingdom Service elements in Diego Garcia, a senior Naval Officer, is routinely informed of all ship and aircraft movements.