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Mr. Bradshaw: Elhannan Tannenbauman Israeli businessman reservist colonelhas been held hostage by Hizbullah since 7 October 2000. On 3 May 2001 the then Foreign Secretary, my right hon. Friend the Member for Livingston (Mr. Cook), and the then Minister of State my right hon. Friend the Member for Cunninghame, North (Mr. Wilson), met Mr. Tannenbaum's family. The Government are doing all they can to help and have raised this case and those of other missing Israeli soldiers with relevant countries in the region and will continue to do so, pressing particularly for access to the hostages for the International Committee of the Red Cross. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister also raised the missing Israeli soldiers during his visit to the middle east at the end of October 2001. We strongly support all efforts to secure the release of all hostages, particularly efforts led by the United Nations Secretary General.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the USA with regard to the referendum on the right to self-determination in western Sahara. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Foreign Office officials in Washington and in our United Nations mission in New York remain in regular contact with their American counterparts about the referendum on the right to self-determination in western Sahara.
Like our American colleagues, we continue to support the efforts of James Baker, the Personal Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General, in trying to find a just and durable resolution to the dispute. We look forward to James Baker's report on developments in the region before the end of the current MINURSO mandate on 28 February 2002.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Nottingham, South (Mr. Simpson) of 20 November 2001, Official Report, columns 18586W, on nuclear weapons, if he will make it his policy to engage permanent members of the Security Council in negotiations on nuclear weapon reduction. 
Mr. Bradshaw: All five nuclear weapons states are committed under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty to the ultimate goal of nuclear disarmament, and have discussions on this and related issues in that context. The UK has made it clear that we will include our nuclear weapons in multilateral negotiations as soon as appropriate, but the circumstances do not yet exist to make starting such negotiations a practical proposition.
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Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what arrangements he intends to put in place for briefings to members of the Council of Europe on reports prepared by rapporteurs from the UK; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. MacShane: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office will continue to co-ordinate briefing from Whitehall Departments for members of the UK delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on all reports debated at the assembly's part-sessions, including those prepared by UK rapporteurs.
President Kim Dae Jung visited the UK as a Guest of Government in December 2001 and discussed north/south relations with the Prime Minister, who reiterated UK support for the rapprochement process. This was followed by a visit by the North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Su Hon, during which the Foreign Secretary and I stressed the need for North Korea's record on missile proliferation and human rights remains of great concern. I have recently written to Mr. Choe setting out UK support for north-south rapprochement and urging North Korea to abide by the international norms of diplomatic and political relations between countries.
1 x Counsellormale
4 x First Secretarythree males, one female
1 x Second Secretarymale
1 x Support Attachémale.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many visa applications were dealt with by each overseas high commission, embassy and consulate in the last year for which information is available; and what proportion were (a) granted for study purposes, (b) granted for holiday purposes, (c) granted for other purposes and (d) denied. 
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Mr. Bradshaw: All entry clearance posts submit an annual statistical return. This information is collated in the Entry Clearance Annual Statistics booklet, copies of which are currently available in the House Library. The latest year for which this information is available is 2000.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) in how many countries the United Kingdom was represented by (a) a resident (i) high commissioner and (ii) ambassador, (b) a non-resident (i) high commissioner and (ii) ambassador and (c) a consul in each year since 1997, indicating where that representation changed in that time; 
Mr. Bradshaw: The information requested is available in the departmental reports for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which have been deposited in the Libraries of the House. The following posts have changed their category during this period:
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