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Mr. Waldegrave : The situation remains disturbed with continuing internal conflicts and reports of violations of human rights. There have, however, been some positive developments including the initiation of negotiations between the Ethiopian Government and the Eritrean People's Liberation Front, and the release of a number of political prisoners in Ethiopia and Somalia.
Mr. Maude : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs discussed the proposed social charter and other current EC issues with his ministerial colleagues and M. Delors at the informal meeting near Chartres on 14-15 October.
29. Mr. Knox : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he next proposes to have discussions with his European Community partners concerning the development of common European foreign policies.
Mr. Maude : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs next expects to meet his EC colleagues to discuss political co-operation matters in Brussels on 27 November. Before then, he expects to see them at the Foreign Affairs Council on 6 November in Brussels, when there may also be an opportunity to discuss political co- operation matters.
Mr. Sainsbury : We receive representations on our relations with Nicaragua from a wide variety of sources, including hon. Members and members of the public, non-governmental organisations and the Nicaraguan embassy in London, as well as from the Government and opposition in Nicaragua.
31. Mr. John Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Government of Chile concerning the conditions under which the plebiscite will be held later this year.
Mr. Sainsbury : Plebiscites have been held in Chile most recently on 5 October 1988 and 30 July 1989. Both were conducted in exemplary fashion. There are no plans for any further plebiscites this year.
32. Mr. Charles Wardle : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on recent progress in the co-ordination of the international fight against drug trafficking.
Mr. Sainsbury : Seventy four states, including the United Kingdom, have now signed the 1988 United Nations convention against illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and pyschotropic substances. The United Kingdom has signed bilateral agreements or arrangements to trace, freeze and confiscate the proceeds of drugs trafficking with 11 countries, the latest with Malaysia on 17 October.
Mr. Sainsbury : Together with other countries the United Kindgom is providing substantial assistance to Colombia. I attended a Caribbean ministerial drugs conference in Kingston from 2-4 October. Drugs were discussed at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Kuala Lumpur. I shall make a statement on United Kingdom drugs policy during the United Nations General Assembly drugs debate 3-7 November. A proposed United Nations special session on drugs is likely to be held early in 1990. The United Kingdom will host an international conference on demand reduction and cocaine in April 1990. We are discussing with our European Community partners ways of improving EC co-ordination on drugs.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received from the Colombian Government concerning the activities of British mercenaries working for drug barons ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Sainsbury : As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs made clear when he met the Colombian Foreign Minister, Sr. London o, in New York on 26 September, we condemn unequivocally and unreservedly the activities of those who work for drugs traffickers in Colombia. It is primarily for the Colombian authorities to take action in respect of
Column 486offences committed in Colombia. We remain in close touch with the Colombian authorities on this issue. President Barco has thanked us for the help which we have extended in this matter.
Mr. Sainsbury : We are very active in assisting local governments in the dependent territories, particularly those in the Caribbean, in their fight against the trade in narcotics. Following a survey of the Caribbean dependent territories conducted in 1986 we took steps to establish or strengthen drugs squads in the local police forces through the provision of United Kingdom personnel and equipment. In addition, a United Kingdom Customs training adviser has been running drugs awareness courses and a United Kingdom drugs intelligence officer has been establishing drugs intelligence registries in each of the territories. A new police launch was provided for the British Virgin Islands Government in 1988 and similar launches will be provided for Anguilla, Montserrat and Turks and Caicos Islands over the next six months. Training for the crews will be given by a United Kingdom team of experts.
In July/August a team of United Kingdom experts completed a further survey of the drugs problem in the Caribbean dependent territories to assess the present situation and to make recommendations for further action. We are currently considering this report in consultation with our Governors and local administrations.
Mr. Waldegrave : We continue to take every opportunity to press the Soviet authorities both about individual refusenik cases, and on the need for new and effective legislation which will make the refusenik problem a thing of the past.
Mr. John Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations have been made to the Russian authorities about the case of Norbet and Natasha Magazanik and their daughter Olga and son Alexander of Moscow.
Mr. Waldegrave : We take every opportunity to press the Soviet authorities on individual refusenik cases such as the Magazanik family. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs raised this case most recently with Mr. Shevardnadze in New York on 29 September. We shall maintain our pressure until this case is satisfactorily resolved.
Mr. John Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations have been made to the Russian authorities about the case of Alexander and Yelena Rappoport and his son Vladimir of Moscow.
Column 487Alexander and Elena Rappoport. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealh Affairs raised this case most recently when he met Mr. Shevardnadze in New York on 29 September. We shall maintain our pressure until this case is satisfactorily resolved.
Mr. John Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what representations have been made to the Russian authorities about the case of Irina Tiomkinal, her son Ilya and her mother, of Moscow ;
(2) what representations have been made to the Russian authorities about the case of Roman and Ludmilla Friedman and their sons Igor and Andre of Moscow ;
(3) what representations have been made to the Russian authorities about the case of Yakov Grinberg and Basya Berelisovna and their daughter Diana and son Lev of Moscow.
(4) what representations have been made to the Russian authorities about the case of Semion and Lida Akselrod and their sons Boris, Benjamin and David of Leningrad.
35. Mr. Nigel Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he last met the Government of the United States to discuss progress in the Central American peace process.
37. Mr. Atkinson : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the further progress required of the Soviet Union towards implementing its human rights commitment for United Kingdom attendance at the proposed Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe human rights conference in Moscow in September 1991 to take place.
Mr. Waldegrave : While there have been significant improvements in Soviet human rights performance, many individual cases remain unresolved, and most of the expected new legislation is still unpublished. There is still much to be done before our well-known conditions for attendance are met. The refusal of a visa recently to the Reverend Michael Bordeaux was not a good omen.
Mr. Waldegrave : Earlier in the year the Somali Government released hundreds of political prisoners and received a visit by an Amnesty International delegation. These welcome moves were followed in mid-July by the
Column 488brutal suppression of demonstrations and extra-judicial executions. We have made clear our deep concern about these developments.
Mr. Maude : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs met the Chinese Foreign Minister, Mr. Qian Qichen, in New York on 28 September. Their discussion concentrated on Hong Kong. They agreed on the need for co-operation to implement the Joint Declaration and the need to work for the restoration of confidence in Hong Kong.
Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the ban on arms sales to China includes equipment for which export licences had been granted prior to the ban but which has not left the United Kingdom.
42. Mr. McCrindle : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many cases have been reported to date of British tourists being injured in (a) accidents, (b) assaults and (c) civil disturbances whilst on overseas holidays since the beginning of the year.
Mr. Sainsbury : British missions overseas received reports of 527 accidents and 225 assaults of which British nationals were victims between 1 January 1989 and 30 September 1989. Statistics on the numbers injured in civil disturbances are not held.
Column 489restoration of democracy in Pakistan last year and, more recently, by Pakistan's resumption this month of Commonwealth membership. The warmth of the relationship was demonstrated by the very successful visit of Prime Minister Bhutto in July.
Mr. Waldegrave : It is not for outsiders to try to impose a solution on South Africa. Our role will continue to be to help and encourage those who are working for peaceful change ; meanwhile maintaining dialogue with the South African Government in order to reinforce its stated commitment to reform and negotiations.
Human rights in El Salvador was among the subjects I discussed with the Salvadorean Foreign Minister, Dr. Manuel Pacas, on 26 September.
47. Mr. Sumberg : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with counterparts from other Commonwealth countries regarding the future of Hong Kong.
Mr. Maude : The future of Hong Kong has been discussed at the European Community Council in Madrid, at the Economic Summit in Paris in July, and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Kuala Lumpur this month.
In addition my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs has had meetings with the Chinese Foreign Minister in Paris on 31 July and in New York on 28 September.
49. Mr. Nicholas Baker : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about the continued detention in Iran of Mr. Roger Cooper and his Department's efforts to secure Mr. Cooper's release.
Column 490have made our concerns clear to the Iranian Government both directly and indirectly on many occasions. We shall continue to take every opportunity to press for his release.
50. Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the implications of Portugal's decision to grant full citizenship and right of abode to the people of Macao.
Mr. Maude : There has been no such decision. Portugal grants automatic full citizenship and right of abode only to people born in Portuguese territory of Portuguese parents. The 1981 Portuguese Nationality Act ended the automatic right to Portuguese nationality of children born of non-Portuguese parents in Macao. It is estimated that less than 20 per cent. of Macao residents have the right of abode in Portugal.
51. Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action he proposes to reduce delays for those awaiting entry clearance interviews at the British embassy in Islamabad.
Mr. Sainsbury : Waiting times for interview at the High Commission in Islamabad have been reduced this year following an increase in the number of permanent entry clearance staff and streamlining of procedures. We continue to monitor queue lengths to ensure that applicants are seen as quickly as resources allow.
Mr. Sainsbury : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs met the Indian high commissioner socially with other members of the diplomatic corps on 14 September. My noble Friend the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs has had substantive discussions on a full range of issues.
Column 491Foreign Minister of Bangladesh both participated in the recent Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Kuala Lumpur.
Mr. Sainsbury : We have consistently supported efforts to replace the present regime in Kabul with a truly representative government acceptable to the majority of Afghans. This is the necessary preliminary to any lasting settlement and to the voluntary return of Afghan refugees.
Mr. Devlin : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assistance the British Government are giving to the republic of Kampuchea to avoid a renewal of civil war in that country.
Mr. Sainsbury : We do not provide aid to the Heng Samrin regime, which was installed by force of Vietnamese arms. But we have contributed towards a number of humanitarian projects inside Cambodia. Our objective remains a comprehensive political settlement which would enable the Cambodian people to elect a Government of their choice.
Mr. Devlin : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what stance the British delegation to the United Nations intends to take to the possible renewal of representation of Kampuchea by the coalition Government of democratic Kampuchea.
Mr. Sainsbury : On 17 October the UN General Assembly once again adopted, without a vote, the report of the credentials committee. This recommended, inter alia, acceptance of the credentials of Democratic Kampuchea. After adoption, the United Kingdom representative emphasised that this should not be taken to imply support for the Khmer Rouge and made clear our abhorrence of Pol Pot.
Sir John Farr : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will reconsider the claims made by ex- prisoners of war, who were involved in the building of the Siam to Burma railway in 1941, in relation to their treatment by the Japanese at that time.
Mr. Sainsbury : No. The question of compensation for the suffering and damage caused by Japan during the war was dealt with in the 1951 treaty of peace with Japan. While recognising the very great debt owed by this country to those who fought against the Japanese, there are no grounds to reopen the issue now.
Mr. Nellist : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to the Government of Israel on human rights, and the continued occupation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Waldegrave : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs discussed the situation in the occupied territories with the Israeli Foreign Minister on 25 September and underlined our concern that, pending their withdrawal, the Israelis should administer the territories in accordance with international law and their human rights obligations.
Mr. Sainsbury : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs attended the opening session of the forty- fourth session of the General Assembly between 25 and 29 September. This provided him with an opportunity to deliver a statement to the General Assembly, have formal meetings with the Secretary-General, Senor Perez de Cuellar and the newly elected President of the General Assembly, Mr. Garba, and to attend a lunch hosted by the Secretary-General for the Foreign Ministers of the five permanent members of the Security Council.
My right hon. Friend also undertook bilateral discussions with the President of Colombia, President Barco and the Foreign Ministers of the following countries :
USA (Mr. Baker)
USSR (Mr. Shevardnadze)
China (Mr. Qian)
Japan (Mr. Nakayama)
Hungary (Dr. Horn)
Israel (Mr. Arens)
Poland (Professor Skubiszewski)
Pakistan (Mr. Yaqub Khan).
My right hon. Friend does not expect to attend the General Assembly again this session. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister intends to address the General Assembly on 8 November on environmental issues.