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Immigration (DNA Tests)

Mr. Sarwar: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what percentage of immigration cases required DNA tests to prove family relationships in each of the last three years. [97577]

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Mr. Vaz: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer my right hon. Friend the then Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Mr. Hoon) gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Watford (Ms Ward) on 29 June 1999, Official Report, column 118.

"The Raspberry Ice Cream War"

Sir Richard Body: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many copies of the European Commission booklet, "The Raspberry Ice Cream War", were printed in (a) English and (b) other Community languages; what determined these numbers; and if he will make a statement. [97764]

Mr. Vaz: This is a matter for the Commission. No copies of the booklet were distributed in the UK.

EMU and EU (Public Opinion)

Mr. Cash: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what opinion research his Department has commissioned on attitudes to economic and monetary union and the European Union; which polling organisations have been awarded contracts for such research; when such contracts were awarded; and what the costs of such contracts have been. [97768]

Mr. Vaz: I refer the hon. Member to the answer the Prime Minister gave to him on 1 November 1999, Official Report, column 5.

Mr. Mark Davey

Mr. Blizzard: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer of 2 November 1999, Official Report, column 125, what progress has been made in obtaining the report of the Nigerian police on the death of Mr. Mark Davey in April 1998. [97956]

Mr. Hain: The British High Commission in Lagos and Abuja continue to press the Nigerian authorities both in writing and verbally for a copy of the complete police report.

Minority and Regional Languages

Mr. Dafis: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he plans to sign the Council of Europe Charter on Minority and Regional Languages. [97883]

Mr. Vaz: It is our firm intention to sign the charter. We will move to signing and ratification as soon as the full implications for the UK are clear.

Correspondence

Mr. Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he expects to reply to the letter sent to him on 12 July regarding Dr. Amin of Birkenhead. [97944]

Mr. Vaz: A member of the Migration and Visa correspondence Unit sent my right hon. Friend a reply to his letter on 27 October. A reply was sent on 10 August but, regrettably, incorrectly addressed. I apologise to my right hon. Friend for the administrative error. He is of course at liberty to discuss this matter with me if he wishes to do so.

11 Nov 1999 : Column: 845

Chinese Embassy, Belgrade

Mr. Forth: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the total amounts paid in compensation for the bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade to (a) the Government of the People's Republic of China and (b) individuals in the People's Republic of China. [96144]

Mr. Vaz: I will write to the right hon. Member shortly.

Intergovernmental Conference

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he plans to report on preparations for enlargement of the EU at the next Intergovernmental Conference. [97924]

Mr. Vaz: I will write to the hon. Member shortly.

Minke Whale

Mr. Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to the Norwegian Government on the resumption of Minke whale hunting by Norwegian whalers. [98085]

Mr. Hain: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs has not made any recent personal representations to the Norwegian Government about Minke whale hunting. However, we take every suitable opportunity to make clear to Norway the UK's views on whaling.

Sri Lanka

Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the Government's current assessment of the political situation in Sri Lanka. [98060]

Mr. Hain: We believe a lasting solution to the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka can only be reached through a political settlement. We have made clear that we stand ready to help in the resolution of the conflict if both sides ask us to play a role.

Greek Cypriots

Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to the authorities in the north of Cyprus regarding the situation of the Greek Cypriot community; and if he will make a statement. [98058]

Mr. Vaz: We have regular contacts with the Turkish Cypriot authorities and continue to urge them to implement measures to improve living conditions for the Greek Cypriot community in northern Cyprus. Measures were taken in October last year to relax some of the restrictions on the Greek Cypriot community, and we consider these a step in the right direction. But we have made clear that more should be done.

Arms Exports

Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what was the value of armaments exports to (a) Greece, (b) Turkey and (c) Cyprus in each of

11 Nov 1999 : Column: 846

the last 10 years; on what occasions a licence for the export of arms to each country was refused during that time; and if he will make a statement. [98061]

Mr. Vaz: HM Customs and Excise collect and compile information on the trading of goods between UK and other countries. However, extracting and quality assuring some of the information requested could be done only at disproportionate cost. This relates to exports before 1997.

Information on the value of military equipment exported during 1997 and 1998 and countries of destination can be found in the Government Annual Report on Strategic Export Controls for 1997 and 1998 respectively.

Export licence refusals for the last 10 years are recorded by the DTI. This information is not immediately available but the DTI have undertaken to write to me with full details as soon as possible.

All defence exports for all destinations are considered on a case by case basis against national criteria announced by the Secretary of State in July 1997 and, since June 1998, the EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports. Exports to Cyprus are additionally assessed against guidelines announced by the previous administration on 14 February 1997, Official Report, column 282.

Chechnya

Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what measures the Government have taken to assist in the relief of the refugee crisis in Chechnya. [98311]

Mr. Vaz: We have provided £0.5 million in response to the Red Cross' emergency appeal. The EU has also 1.2 million euro available for humanitarian assistance. We and our partners have pressed the Russians to allow free movement across the Chechen/Ingush border of those fleeing the fighting, to allow access by international humanitarian missions, and to support the rapid, secure and reliable distribution of international aid.

Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what measures the Government have taken to persuade the Russian Government to seek a diplomatic solution to the conflict in Chechnya. [98312]

Mr. Vaz: My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister urged Russian Prime Minister Putin to seek a political solution when he wrote to him on 4 November. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary reinforced this message when he spoke to the Russian Foreign Minister on 6 November. The EU General Affairs Council on 15-16 November, and the OSCE Summit on 17-18 November, will be further opportunities to press the Russians on this.

World Trade Organisation

Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many members of his Department are deployed in the United Kingdom's mission to the WTO in Geneva; and what are (i) the personnel costs and (ii) the office costs of maintaining them. [98234]

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Mr. Hain: Five members of the United Kingdom's mission to the UN and other International Organisations in Geneva are employed fully or partly on WTO. The personnel cost for these staff (including accommodation and support staff costs) is approximately £550,000 per annum. The Office costs are difficult to calculate as they are bound up with the overall costs of UKMis Geneva and the UK's other two diplomatic missions in Geneva which are all co-located.


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