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30 Oct 2002 : Column 882Wcontinued
That evening my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Development was guest speaker at a UN Day reception at her Department's Headquarters hosted by the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC). todd
Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Government of Uganda regarding the raid on the offices of the Monitor newspaper. 
Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the Swedish Foreign Minister regarding (a) EU enlargement and (b) the euro. 
Mr. Macshane: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs meets his Swedish counterpart Anna Lindh, regularly in the margins of the EU General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC). The Secretary of State visited Sweden on 29-30 August 2002. He most recently met Anna Lindh at the European Council on 24-25 October 2002. Discussions have covered the range of EU topics including EU Enlargement and the Euro.
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Mr. Macshane: I am very pleased that the Irish people voted in favour of the Treaty of Nice. Nice is necessary for enlargement to take place smoothly by 2004. Enlargement is essential for European stability, security and prosperity. However, important and difficult negotiations lie ahead between now and the Copenhagen European Council in December. todd
Mr. Caton: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the human rights situation in Cameroon; and whether he has identified an improvement since the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture visited that country in 1999, with particular reference to the use of torture.
Mr. Macshane: The UK continues to be concerned about the human rights situation in Cameroon. We continue to use every available opportunity, bilaterally and through the EU and Commonwealth, to bring pressure upon the Government of Cameroon to implement substantial human rights and governance reform generally. We do not believe that there have been substantial improvements to the situation since the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture's report in 1999.
The FCO's Anti-Torture Initiative was established in October 1998. Phase 3 of the initiative was launched in July this year and was marked in Cameroon by a joint British Council-British High Commission seminar aimed at raising awareness of the issue in Cameroon.
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his Department's policy is on the question raised in the note by Mr. M Barnier to Members of the Convention on the Future of Europe, CONV 264/02, as to whether an undertaking of collective defence should be enshrined in the Treaty on European Union. 
Mike O'Brien: The Government's policy, and the policy to which the EU collectively committed itself at the European Council of Nice in December 2000, is that NATO remains the basis for the collective defence of its members. Peter
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has had with Iran in its role in seeking to resolve the dispute between the Palestinians and the Government of Israel. 
Mike O'Brien: During his visit to Iran on 9 October, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary discussed a number of regional issues, including the Middle East Peace Process, with both President Khatami and Foreign Minister Kharrazi. He urged the Iranians actively to support a two state solution and to cease any support to those opposing the Peace Process. We therefore welcome the statement by the Iranian MFA spokesman on 15 October that Iran would not reject a two state solution provided it was acceptable to the Palestinians and Israelis.
Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has received on the purpose and objective of their policy of sanctions against Iran; and if he will make a statement. 
Mike O'Brien: The Governor of Pitcairn is due to visit Pitcairn in November. The previous Governor visited the island in September 2000. The previous Deputy Governor spent six weeks on the island in November/December 2001.
Mr Tony Lloyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when UK Visas will reply to the letter of 27th June from the honourable Member for Manchester Central, regarding Mr. AM reference NBI/1003564/7/8. 
Dr. Jenny Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the gifting of non-lethal military equipment to the government of Nepal using funds from the Global Conflict Prevention Pool. 
Mike O'Brien: I refer the hon. Member to a Ministry of Defence Departmental Minute dated 22 July, which is available in the Library of the House of Commons and which gives full details of non-lethal military equipment to be gifted to the Government of Nepal, including those made from the Global Conflict Prevention Pool Fund.