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27 Mar 2001 : Column: 614W
Mr. Battle: Sergio Vieira de Mello, the Head of the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET), announced on 16 March that the first democratic election for an 88-member constituent Assembly will be held on 30 August 2001. These elections will mark a key stage in the transition towards an independent state, expected in early 2002.
Mr. Vaz: Relations with Luxembourg are traditionally very good. Ministers and officials have frequent contact with their Luxembourg counterparts at EU meetings. There were also four substantive bilateral ministerial meetings in 2000, including a meeting between the two Prime Ministers in London. The Under-Secretary of State for Social Security, my hon. Friend the Member for Wallasey (Angela Eagle) visited Luxembourg on 21 March to speak on welfare and pensions reform and meet her opposite numbers and there are plans for my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary to have talks with his opposite number Madame Polfer. Trade relations thrive, with the UK exports to Luxembourg reaching £219.8 million last year.
Mr. Wilson: I discussed our concerns over Zimbabwe with South Africa's Deputy Foreign Minister on 6 March. We welcome President Mbeki's expressed intention to meet President Mugabe soon to discuss the situation in Zimbabwe.
Mr. Wilson: Given the long shared history between our two countries, we would wish to have better relations with the Government of Zimbabwe. But that is not possible while the Government of Zimbabwe pursue their current policies, which are damaging the economy of the country and its international reputation.
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27. Mrs. Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to the Palestinian National Authority in relation to terrorist attacks in Israel. 
Mr. Wilson: The Government condemn all acts of violence in the middle east, and call on both parties to take steps to reduce the violence and build confidence. This of course includes action where possible to prevent terrorist acts. We take every opportunity to raise this with both Palestinian and Israeli representatives. The European Council in Stockholm on 23 March called for the immediate resumption of security co-operation and urged both parties to do all in their power to end violence, restrain extremism and minimise incitement and provocations.
Mr. Battle: This Government are at the forefront of international efforts to combat the drugs trade. Our aim, as stated in the 10-year drugs strategy, is to halve the availability of those Class A drugs which cause the greatest harm, particularly heroin and cocaine.
Mr. Wilson: We remain deeply concerned about the human rights situation in Kashmir, including reports of abuses by security forces and militants. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary discussed this issue with his Indian counterpart, Jaswant Singh, during talks in London in November last year. We will continue to monitor the situation closely.
32. Mrs. Laing: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the chairman of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy on the development of democracy in the third world. 
Mr. Battle: We take a close interest in the democracy building activities of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) and are in contact with the Chairman of the Board of Governors. In this financial year £4,325,500 of FCO funds has been channelled towards successful WFD activity in a range of countries, with a particular focus on Africa, the Balkans and the Former Soviet Union.
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Mr. Wilson: Following a successful EU Troika visit to the region, Heads of State and Government discussed the situation in the middle east at the European Council in Stockholm on 23 March. The Council reaffirmed the Union's determination to contribute to peace, stability and future prosperity in the middle east. To that end it requested the EU High Representative Javier Solana to explore how the EU can play an enhanced role in promoting the resumption of the peace process. While there has been an overall reduction in the level of violence in the past two weeks, we remain deeply concerned at the continuing tensions and instability. We urge both parties to take immediate parallel steps to address the current crisis.
Mr. Wilson: The United Kingdom has full diplomatic relations with Libya. We are constructively engaged with Libya and continue to encourage them to play a positive role in the international community.
Mr. Vaz: We welcome the recent, constructive dialogue between Belgrade and Vojvodina. This is a further encouraging sign that a mutually agreed and lasting constitutional settlement can be reached on a redefinition of autonomous powers for the province.
Mr. Battle: We are fully committed to introducing legislation to give British citizenship to the people of St. Helena and the other Overseas Territories. We will make parliamentary time available to introduce the legislation for this measure as soon as practicable. Preparatory work to agree the principles of such a bill along with drafting Instructions for the Parliamentary Counsel has been completed.
38. Mr. Tredinnick: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the impact of the charter of fundamental rights on EU law; and if he will make a statement. 
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or tasks defined by the Treaties. It sets out fundamental rights, freedoms and principles that the EU should respect when going about its daily business, and it promotes the visibility of those rights.
Mr. Wilson: My right hon. Friends the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for International Development had separate meetings with President Kabila on 13 March. We pressed him to implement the Lusaka Agreement, assured him of our continued political and practical support and stressed that those who fail to honour their commitments would be held to account by the international community.
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