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EU Top Secret Documents

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to limit foreign travel by Commission officials with access to EU top secret documents; and if he will list the countries to which paragraph 6 of 19.6 of Com Doc 2001/844/EC refers. [32707]

Peter Hain: Com 2001/844 19.6 (d) refers to the rules governing travel by officials of the European Commission. The Commission does not currently hold any EU top secret documents.

There is no formal list of countries likely to present a risk to staff cleared for EU top secret access. As in the UK, decisions are taken at departmental level in the light of prevailing circumstances, and staff cleared to EU top secret would be warned to seek approval before travelling

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to any country likely to present a particular risk. At present the only travel advice given to officials concerns individual safety.


Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on Her Majesty's Government's policy toward Liberia; what assessment he has made of the impact of sanctions; and when he expects them to be lifted. [32716]

Mr. MacShane: Liberia continues to threaten stability in the Mano River sub-region and undermine progress towards lasting peace in Sierra Leone. A UN report published in December 2000 highlighted President Taylor's financial and military support for the RUF rebels trying to overthrow the Government of Sierra Leone. The UN demanded that Liberia cut its links with the armed rebel groups. In May 2001, with strong UK support, the UNSC imposed sanctions on Liberia including a renewed arms embargo, a ban on the export of uncut diamonds and a travel ban on President Taylor and his associates. We believe the sanctions should remain in place until there is clear evidence that Taylor has fundamentally changed his behaviour.


Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in how many business ventures British Trade International has assisted in Turkey during the last two years. [32984]

Mr. Straw: There are no complete records of companies who have benefited from British Trade International assistance in Turkey. The Turkey Trade Unit (TTU) of Trade Partners UK maintains a database of approximately 3,000 active records compiled initially from those companies who participated in the various activities of the "Turkey: Positioned for Business" promotional campaign, which occurred between 1998 and 2001.

Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what schemes exist to promote British investment in Turkey; and if he will make a statement as to their effect. [32985]

Mr. Straw: British companies are able to access the full range of Trade Partners UK services when developing their business overseas. Information on these services can be found on the Trade Partners website ( These services make no distinction between companies which are trading and those which are seeking to invest.

UK trade with Turkey has developed into a two way business of approximately £3 billion a year. Exports were down in 2001 as a result of the Turkish economic slowdown but are still expected to be around £1.2 billion while imports are expected to reach £1.8 billion. The UK was the fifth largest foreign investor in Turkey in 2001, with an investment stock of some £2.3 billion.

Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what safeguards British Trade International has in place to protect the interests of British investors in Turkey. [32989]

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Mr. Straw: The UK has an agreement for the promotion and protection of investments with the Republic of Turkey, which entered into force on 22 October 1996. That agreement provides British investors with certain rights in respect of their investments in Turkey, including the right to treatment no less favourable than that accorded by the Turkish Government to Turkish investments or the investment of the nationals in Turkey of any third state. In the event of a dispute arising between the Turkish Government and a British investor in respect of a British investment in Turkey, the British investor has the right to submit the dispute to international arbitration under the jurisdiction of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes.

Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many complaints the British embassy in Ankara has received from British (a) companies and (b) individuals investing in Turkey in the last two years. [32986]

Mr. Straw: The British embassy in Ankara has received very few complaints. The embassy and its consulates have, however, given advice and support to a number of British companies and individuals on how best to pursue administrative or licensing problems with the Turkish authorities, and referred such inquirers to independent legal advice when necessary.

Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many business ventures which were originally assisted by British Trade International are subject to legal proceedings in Turkey. [32988]

Mr. Straw: We do not know the numbers of business ventures originally assisted by British Trade International, which are subject to legal proceedings in Turkey, nor could such information be provided, if at all, except at disproportionate cost. Any companies who are likely to need to resort to law are encouraged to seek the advice of the British embassy in Ankara or its consulates where they may benefit from British Trade International assistance.

In the event of a commercial dispute the plaintiff is directed to seek independent legal advice and to pursue their claim through the appropriate channels.

Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans the Government have to promote British investment in Turkey. [32987]

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Mr. Straw: The British Government give high priority to Turkey in their trade development activities but no special plans exist to promote Turkey as a destination for UK investment. HM Government have been assisting the Turkish Government with their plans to improve the environment for foreign direct investment in Turkey.

As part of this, in January 2002 the Deputy Director-General of Foreign Investment from the Turkish Treasury, Mrs. Emil, visited the UK as a guest of HM Government to look at UK experience of promoting inward investment and regional development.

Secondments (Energy Industry)

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many staff were seconded between (a) BP, (b) Shell, (c) Enron, (d) Exxon- Mobil, (e) Conoco, (f) Texaco and (g) TotalFinaElf and his Department in (i) 1999–2000, (ii) 2000–01 and (iii) April 2001 to the latest date for which figures are available. [33202]

Mr. MacShane: Three FCO officers were seconded to BP during 1999–2000, one officer from 2000–01 and one officer from 2001 to present date. A representative from Shell has been seconded to our embassy in Tripoli from June 2001 to June 2002 under the short-term business attachment scheme (STBAS). No officers were seconded to/from Enron, Exxon-Mobil, Conoco, Texaco or TotalFinaElf.


Mr. David Atkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on relations with Iran. [33634]

Mr. Bradshaw: The UK has, through critical engagement, aimed to support reform in Iran while maintaining a robust dialogue on issues of concern.

EU Committee of the Regions

Mr. Hendrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about the United Kingdom's representation on the European Union's Committee of the Regions. [34926]

Peter Hain: We have submitted to the Council Secretariat details of the United Kingdom's 24 nominees for full membership of the Committee of the Regions, along with 24 alternate nominees. They are:

UK delegation to the committee of the regions

Full members
Muriel BarkerNorth East Lincolnshire (Unitary) District
Derek BodenLeader of the North West Regional Assembly
Ken Bodfish OBELeader of Brighton and Hove city council
Sir Albert BoreLeader of Birmingham city council
Keith BrownLeader of Clackmannanshire council
Rosemary Butler AMNational Assembly for Wales, Newport West
Ruth ColemanExecutive Member of North Wiltshire county council
Michael DaveyLeader of Northumberland county council
Sir Simon DayChairman of Devon county council
Margaret EatonLeader of Bradford metropolitan borough council
Baroness (Joan) HanhamLondon borough of Kensington and Chelsea
Lord HanningfieldEssex county council
Gordon KeymerLeader of Tanbridge district council
Christine MayLeader of Fife council
Peter MooreLiberal Democrat Leader of Sheffield metropolitan borough council
Dermot Nesbitt MLAJunior Minister in the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister
Alban Maginness MLANorthern Ireland Assembly
Irene Oldfather MSPScottish Parliament, Cunninghame South
Dame Sally PowellLondon borough of Hammersmith and Fulham
Brian SmithTorfaen county borough council
Nicol Stephen MSPScottish Deputy Minister for Education and Young People
The hon. Joan TaylorNottinghamshire county council
Lord Tope CBELiberal Democrat Leader of the Greater London Assembly
Milner WhitemanBridgnorth district council
Alternate members
Jennette ArnoldMember of the Greater London Assembly
Joan AshtonIndependent Group Leader and Deputy Leader of Boston district council
Ruth BagnallLabour Group Leader of Cambridge city council
Olive BrownLeader of Wear Valley district council
Diane BunyanDeputy Leader of Bristol city council
Flo CluclasLiverpool city council
Hugh Halcro-Johnston MSPConvener, Orkney Islands council and Vice-President of COSLA
Dr. Ruth Henig CBEChair of Lancashire police authority
Jonathan HuishRhondda Cynon Taff county borough council
Elin JonesAssembly Member for Ceredigion
Susie KempOpposition Leader of West Berkshire county council
Lord Tarsem KingMayor of Sandwell district council
Sue Sida LockettConservative Group Leader of Suffolk county council
Corrie McChordLeader of Stirling council
Jack McConnell MSPFirst Minister
Irene McGugan MSPShadow spokesperson for children and education
Bob NeillMember of the Greater London Assembly, Bexley and Bromley
Margaret RitchieDistrict councillor, Down district council
George Savage MLANorthern Ireland Assembly, Upper Bann
David ShakespeareLeader of Buckinghamshire county council
Shirley SmartLeader of Isle of Wight unitary council
Jim Speechley CBELeader of Lincolnshire county council
Liz TuckerLiberal Democrat Leader of Worcestershire county council
Sir Ron Watson CBESefton metropolitan borough council

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