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Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations Her Majesty's Government have made to the Government of the Ivory Coast to implement the recommendation of the Reconciliation Forum, to allow Alassane Ouattara to contest future elections by granting him a certificate of nationality; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The Government have followed the progress of the National Reconciliation Forum (NRF) closely. We noted with satisfaction that the main political figures attended the Forum and that several recommendations have been made to the Government of Cote d'Ivoire. We consider that the Forum has achieved
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positive results and that it paves the way for further progress towards reconciliation and political stability in Cote d'Ivoire.
Nationality is a matter for each State to determine We note that the question of Mr. Ouattara's nationality has been referred to the Ivorian courts. Whatever their ruling, we consider it is important for democracy and stability in Cote d'Ivoire that Mr. Ouattara and the Rassemblement des Republicains should be able to play an active role in Ivorian politics.
Mr. Donaldson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Romanian Government regarding their embargo on inter-country adoption which prohibits United Kingdom citizens from adopting Romanian children. 
Peter Hain: We have expressed our support for the one-year moratorium on international adoptions from Romania announced on 13 July following a recommendation from the European Parliament. There were allegations that the existing adoption system had become very corrupt, and the Romanians needed time to rewrite the law on adoption and get the necessary framework in place to support it. They are being helped in this by the UK Department for International Development, as well as UNICEF, the EU and USAID.
Mr. Bradshaw: In recent weeks the security situation within Liberia has deteriorated. In north-western Liberia fighting has escalated between Guinean backed dissident groups and Liberian forces loyal to President Taylor. There is a risk that this increased instability could destabilise the sub-region, including neighbouring Sierra Leone, and have serious humanitarian consequences. Regional peace is dependent on the restoration of stability in Liberia, and we will continue working towards that goal.
In March 2001 we co-sponsored United Nations Security Council Resolution 1343 imposing sanctions on Liberia. We are encouraged that Liberia has taken some positive steps, including rescinding the expulsion of the Sierra Leonean and Guinean ambassadors, and granting an amnesty to political opponents accused of treason. But as the UN Expert Panel Report on sanction made clear in October 2001, President Taylor has not fundamentally changed his behaviour. In response to this report, the UK is actively pursuing further actions in the Security Council. The EU recently held talks with Liberia to further increase pressure on President Taylor to stop backing rebel groups and start implementing democratic principles, good governance and respect for human rights. Through various diplomatic channels, including the EU presidency representative to the Mano River Union (MRU: Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone), the UN and ECOWAS, we are encouraging the leaders of the MRU countries to establish a meaningful dialogue.
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Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Colombian Government about the situation in Barrancabermeja and Magdalene Medio. 
Mr. MacShane: I had comprehensive discussion about the situation in Barrancabermeja and Magdalene Medio with the Colombian Government during my visit to Colombia, which included Barrancabermeja, in October 2001. I specifically discussed the security situation in the town and its surrounds with the Chief of Police in Barrancabermeja, as well as with the church, NGOs and human rights groups. Staff from the British Embassy in Bogota visited Barrancabermeja on a number of occasions last year.
Mr. Bradshaw: We continue to urge all parties to the conflict to engage in dialogue, as an essential first step towards addressing the problems in Angola. We welcome the growing contribution of the Churches and Civil Society to efforts towards national reconciliation.
Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if guidance has been sent to overseas posts about the authenticity of documents with (a) spelling and (b) grammatical errors as a result of the report of the Independent Monitor. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Entry Clearance Officers are trained to assess the authenticity of documents, including whether the standard of the English used in them is consistent with that which could reasonably be expected of the originator. In addition, further guidance on this matter is currently under consideration.
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monitor that future statistics on entry clearance applications should allow refusal rates to be ascertained by reference to (a) gender and (b) age group. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The entry clearance software at overseas posts cannot produce statistics by reference to gender and age group. We are considering whether a revised version of the software, capable of doing so, can be developed and provided to posts this year.
Mr. Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to Chairman Arafat regarding terrorism emanating from within the Palestinian Authority. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The Government have repeatedly condemned terrorism, wherever it originates. We have made clear to President Arafat that the Palestinian Authority must dismantle terrorist networks, and arrest and prosecute all suspects. Lord Levy met the Palestinian Authority leadership, including President Arafat, on 18 and 19 December, and reinforced these messages.
Mr. Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the number of terrorist attacks carried out by members of the Fatah from within the Palestinian Authority since October 2000. 
Mr. Bradshaw: It is not always possible to determine, with certainty, the responsibility for terrorist attacks. Many attacks are unclaimed, and some claims of responsibility are unreliable. What is important is that President Arafat has committed the Palestinian Authority to an effort to prevent violence by all Palestinian groups operating from the occupied territories. We urge the Palestinian Authority to fulfil this commitment, and Israel to help create the conditions for a return to negotiations. Only a just and lasting peace can assure security for Israelis and Palestinians alike.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with his Belgian counterpart concerning the preservation for posterity of landscape features associated with battlefields of the Great War. 
Peter Hain: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has regular contact with his Belgian counterpart at EU meetings and on other occasions. The Government and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission maintain a regular dialogue with the Belgian authorities on developments affecting war graves in Belgium.
Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action the Government are taking to ensure that prisoners taken during the fighting in Afghanistan are protected from torture or death once they have surrendered. 
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The UN also appealed to the Afghan forces to treat surrendering forces in accordance with international humanitarian law. Security Council resolution 1378 (2001) calls on all Afghan forces to adhere strictly to their obligations under human rights and international humanitarian law. International Committee of the Red Cross staff returned to Afghanistan in mid-November, and have been allowed access to prisoners held by the Northern Alliance.
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