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Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the Turkish Government on human rights; and what specific cases were discussed. 
Mr. Vaz: The Foreign Secretary discussed human rights issues with the Turkish Foreign Minister, Ismail Cem, when he visited London in September 1999, and in the margins of the OSCE summit in Istanbul in November
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1999. Human rights have also been raised in other ministerial contacts, for example by my hon. Friend the Member for Neath (Mr. Hain) when he met the Turkish Ambassador in December 1999, and at my meeting with the Turkish Justice Minister, Mr. Sami Turk, in June this year.
There have otherwise been regular discussions with the Turkish authorities on human rights issues in contacts between officials, both bilaterally and by the EU Presidency and Commission with our support. Points raised in such discussions included our opposition to the death penalty, the imprisonment of HADEP mayors and Akin Birdal, allegations of torture, treatment of Christians in Turkey, many other individual cases and resettlement and other aspects of the Ilisu Dam project. We have also regularly discussed Turkey's proposals to meet the Copenhagen criteria for EU membership.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many press officers were employed in his Department in (a) May 1997, (b) January 1998, (c) January 1999 and (d) January 2000; and what the total expenditure on press officers by his Department was in each of the years concerned. 
(1) This is an estimate. Exact costings for 1999-2000 will not be available until September.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the total cost of the production and issuing of press releases was in (a) 1997, (b) 1998, (c) 1999 and (d) 2000 to date. 
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These figures include a proportion of standing charges as well as per release delivery. In addition, a number of press releases are issued each month direct from the FCO out of hours for which cost and other figures are not available.
Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what criteria are used by the UN Drugs Control Programme when developing their environmental impact assessments for fungal herbicide field trials; 
(3) pursuant to his answer of 13 July 2000, Official Report, column 653W, on drugs control, what evidence he has received which shows that pleospora papaveracea is a control agent specific to opium poppy. 
Mr. Battle [holding answer 26 July 2000]: The purpose of the United Nations International Drugs Control Programme research project into pleospora papaveracea is to determine its viability as a control agent specific to the opium poppy and to establish whether there are any environmental risks in its use.
UK funding was made available in 1998 exclusively for this project, which is expected to last a total of 3½ years. Before committing funding, the FCO sought advice from UK agricultural experts at MAFF and at Natural Resources International Ltd (who provide advice to DfID). Their comments, including an assessment of the risks to legitimate cultivated crops, were incorporated into the final design of the project. A British consultant, until recently at the Long Ashton Research Station, has been employed by UNDCP to review and oversee the project and, in particular, to conduct a detailed examination of host specificity of pleospora papaveracea. There has been no direct funding of Long Ashton.
There are no indications in progress reports from UNDCP so far of any adverse effect on agricultural crops or of any risk of uncontrolled spread. Research has explicitly eliminated effects on 112 different plant species. The research is not yet complete.
Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which chemical herbicide field trial projects his Department supports to combat (a) coca, (b) opium and (c) marijuana. 
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his unofficial reservation on the siting of the Headquarters of the Secretariat of the Antarctic Treaty in Buenos Aires when the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting takes place in The Hague in September. 
Mr. Battle: The Special Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting is due to consider only one Agenda Item, the Report of the Committee for Environmental Protection. Discussion on the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat is not envisaged.
Mr. Arbuthnot: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he will reply to the letter of 28 March from the right hon. Member for North-East Hampshire regarding his constituent, Mr. Goddard. 
Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations Her Majesty's Government have received from (a) EU countries, (b) the United States of America, (c) NATO partners, (d) Russia and (e) China, regarding US proposals for a national missile defence system since the test failure of the system's interceptor rocket on 8 July; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Vaz: The Government continue to consult with the United States and with other allies, both bilaterally and in NATO, on US National Missile Defence plans. We also continue to discuss the issue bilaterally with Russia and China.
The outcome of the latest test will no doubt be carefully considered in any assessment the US Administration makes this year of the technological feasibility of proceeding with the deployment of such a system.
Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment his Department has made regarding the likelihood of an initial nuclear strike on (a) countries of the EU and (b) the United States of America by (i) North Korea, (ii) Libya and (iii) Iran; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Vaz: Our current assessment is that there is no significant threat that North Korea, Libya or Iran might use nuclear weapons against the UK in present circumstances. We continue to monitor developments in this area closely.
Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department has taken to seek to persuade Israel to become a party to the (a) Non-Proliferation Treaty and (b) Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty; and if he will make a statement. 
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Mr. Hain: We consistently call on Israel to adhere to the NPT as a non-nuclear weapon state, to place all its nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards and to ratify the CTBT. We have raised these issues in both bilateral contacts with Israel and in multi-lateral fora such as the NPT Review Conference.
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