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British Council Library (Paris)

Richard Ottaway: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has for the British Council Library in Paris; and if he will make a statement. [63333]

Mr. MacShane: The lending section of the Council's library in Paris will close at the end of June. The lending collection will be donated to public institutions, such as the French National Library and the specialist English studies libraries, and so will remain accessible to the

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public in Paris. Investment of £445,000 will enable part of the centre to re-open in the autumn with an Open Learning area with 30 dedicated computers and a video conferencing facility. A free access information service will also provide 40 UK periodicals and newspapers, reference books on education and the learning of English in the UK, and guidance on cultural, educational and scientific services from Britain.


Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to the Nepalese Government regarding the escalation of terrorist attacks by Maoist groups. [63480]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: We are very concerned about the situation in Nepal. This brutal insurgency by the Maoists is undermining Nepal's young democracy and fragile economy. Maoist terrorists are conducting a savage campaign of intimidation in Nepal to further their own political aims.

The UK has long been a friend of Nepal and we are committed to continuing our developmental, political and military assistance to them. This message was reiterated to the Nepalese Prime Minister during his visit last month to the UK by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, the Secretary of State for International Development and my predecessor, the hon. Member for Exeter (Mr. Bradshaw). We reassured the Nepalese Prime Minister of our full support, but also made clear the need for effective action by the Nepalese Government on reform and development.

We have just hosted an international conference in London with representatives from the Nepalese Government and from other countries who share our concerns, to discuss how the international community can best co-ordinate its efforts in supporting the people of Nepal. We will continue to develop an integrated approach to security, reform and development within Nepal.

The UK has put together a comprehensive package of developmental and military assistance totalling more than £30 million for this financial year. This money will cover projects aimed at short-term development and to reinforce Nepal's development, military and police capacity.

Unlawful Killings (UK Nationals)

Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many UK nationals were unlawfully killed in (a) Egypt, (b) Jordan, (c) Lebanon, (d) Syria, (e) Turkey, (f) Iraq, (g) Iran, (h) Israel, (i) Algeria, (j) Morocco, (k) Libya, (l) Tunisia, (m) Pakistan, (n) Nigeria, (o) Sudan, (p) Ethiopia, (q) Saudi Arabia, (r) Oman, (s) Yemen, (t) Kuwait and (u) UAE in the period from 1 May 2000 to 1 May 2002. [63542]

Mr. Straw [holding answer 21 June 2002]: Our consular records show that the number of UK nationals reported as unlawfully killed in the following countries during the period 1 May 2000 to 1 May 2002 were:

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Mr. Alan Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many staff are assigned to the unit headed by Mr. Alan Goulty as Special Representative to Sudan; and what the budget of his office is for the current financial year. [63853]

Mr. MacShane: The Special Representative for Sudan is supported by a joint FCO/DFID Sudan Unit which has a permanent staff of four officials who can call on advisers across Whitehall as necessary. The staff and running costs of the unit for the current financial year come to approximately £450,000. In addition to this sum, the Sudan Unit and other DFID officials have call on another £7.75 million for humanitarian aid and peace- building activities.

Mr. Alan Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions the Government have had with the Government of Sudan since 1 January. [63820]

Mr. MacShane: The Government has continuous contact with the Government of Sudan through our diplomatic missions in London and Khartoum. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Development visited Sudan in January. The UK Special Representative and other officials have had a series of discussions with members of the Sudanese Government since January, mainly on issues related to peace.

G8 Foreign Ministers' Summit

Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on matters discussed, matters of agreement and disagreement, and decisions taken at the meeting of G8 foreign ministers in Whistler, Canada; and if he will place in the Library copies of all documentation circulated at the meeting, excluding security sensitive information. [63852]

Peter Hain: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary represented the UK at the meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Group of eight in Whistler, Canada on 12–13 June.

Issues discussed at the meeting included counter- terrorism, Afghanistan, South Asia, the middle east, non-proliferation, the Balkans, Cyprus and the Korean Peninsula. No formal decisions were taken on these or other issues, though a G8 statement on Afghanistan and a progress report on G8 activity against terrorism were

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agreed and issued at the meeting. Copies of those documents and of the Canadian chairman's summary of discussion have been placed in the Library of the House.


Mr. Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many appeals were lodged against visa refusals in (a) Mumbai, (b) New Delhi and (c) Islamabad in 2001; and when he will re-open the entry clearance operation in (i) Mumbai, (ii) New Delhi and (iii) Islamabad. [64231]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The number of appeals received in 2001 by Mumbai, New Delhi and Islamabad are shown below:

Entry clearance operations in Mumbai, New Delhi and Islamabad are not closed.

We are currently operating a restricted visa service in New Delhi and Mumbai. Since 4 June, New Delhi and Mumbai have only accepted settlement applications, urgent medical and compassionate cases and drop box applications for limited categories of travellers including previous visitors and returning residents.

Since 6 June Islamabad has been offering a very limited service, accepting applications through Fedex from returning residents and urgent medical and compassionate cases, including settlement and family visit applications in these categories.

We are keeping service and staffing levels under constant review. Our aim is a phased resumption of normal service at the security situation permits and staffing levels build up.

From 24 June New Delhi and Mumbai will be extending the service offered to accept applications in a broad category of 'straightforward' traveller.

Also from 24 June the visa service in Islamabad will be extended to include applications from:


Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when his Department will supply answers to the chronology points discussed during the meeting with the hon. Member for Sutton and Cheam and his constituent, the Reverend Jason Clark. [64365]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The chronology queries, to which the hon. Member refers, are Mr. Clark's contradictions of the Embassy and FCO's records.

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It was agreed during the hon. Member's meeting with my noble Friend Baroness Amos on 20 February, that the chronology issue would be reviewed once our mutual concerns about Mr. Clark's health (and corresponding clemency plea to the Abu Dhabi authorities) had been addressed. I understand that this was agreed with Michael Clark himself in a meeting with embassy staff on 20 January 2002. As soon as these concerns are resolved, we will address the issues surrounding the discrepancies in our respective chronology of events in this case.

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