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Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports his Department has received concerning banned Zimbabwean Ministers being granted visas to attend the EU-ACP Joint Parliamentary Assembly in Brussels at the end of November; under what terms these visas have been granted; what role the European Development Fund will have in funding these visits; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Straw: On 7 November Belgium alerted EU partners to the request for visas to attend the EU/ACP meeting from Christopher Kuruneri, Zimbabwe's Deputy Minister for Finance and Paul Mangwana, Minister of State for State Enterprises. Both are on the EU travel ban list. The Belgian Government explained that under the terms of the Lome and Cotonou Agreements, Belgium had a legal obligation to grant these visas, since these agreements override Council decisions on sanctions. The Belgian Government undertook to attach maximum restrictions. The banned individuals were granted visas only for the period 1929 November, restricted to the territory of Belgium.
The meeting of the EU/ACP Joint Parliamentary Assembly, funding issues and invitations to ACP countries, are matters for the co-Secretariat of the EU/ACP. Once the invitation had issued, the choice of representatives from Zimbabwe was a matter for the Zimbabwe Parliament.
The EU's Common Position 2002/145/CFSP imposing sanctions on Zimbabwe specifically allow member states to grant exemptions where travel is justified on grounds of attending meetings of international bodies.
Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans his Department has to send a representative to the meeting scheduled for EU and SADC leaders to be held in Lisbon in April 2003; what representations he has made to other SADC and EU countries concerning this meeting; whether Zimbabweans on the EU travel ban list will be able to attend this meeting; whether he plans to support a relocation of this meeting to a venue outside of the EU; and if he will make a statement. 
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relocation. The Government considers that no-one subject to an EU travel ban should attend a meeting in the European Union unless their right to attend is required pursuant to a legal obligation. The Government will decide its own representation closer to the time.
Mr. MacShane: This Government has always made clear that there will be no change in the sovereignty of Gibraltar unless the people of Gibraltar agree to it in a referendum. If there were such a set of proposals on the table that included such a change, then the Government would ensure that the necessary arrangements were in place to hold a referendum, most probably through seeking an Order in Council as was done in 1967.
Mr. Simon Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the former employees of his Department who have taken up positions with Gracemoor Consultants, stating in each case the name, position previously held and date of leaving. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: We are unable to answer this question as instructed by the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information Part 2, section 12, Privacy of an Individual, which states that unwarranted disclosure to a third party of personal information about any person would constitute an invasion of privacy.
Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what role the Military Intelligence Support Group within the Nepalese Army will play in conflict prevention; and what its objectives are. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The role of the Military Intelligence Support Group (MISG) is to enhance the intelligence gathering capability of the Royal Nepalese Army (RNA). Its objective is to provide accurate intelligence so that the RNA are able to identify Maoist military activity.
Mr. Cameron: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what further progress his Department has made in assisting Jonathan Lincoln Brown, a constituent who is held in Oman. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: Our embassy in Muscat continues to make representations to the Omani authorities on behalf of Mr. Lincoln Brown, who remains at liberty in Oman though he is not permitted to leave. On 25 September 2002, our embassy wrote to the Omani Ministry of Foreign Affairs querying the process by which Mr. Lincoln Brown was initially denied the Right of Appeal in 2001. Although his Right of Appeal was
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subsequently restored and heard on 6 May 2002, it failed. Mr. Lincoln Brown has now said that he will appeal to the Supreme Court against this decision.
Our embassy has also informed the Omani authorities by a Diplomatic Note sent on 17 November, of Mr. Lincoln Brown's intention to leave Oman. We are seeking from them confirmation that he can do so. Our embassy will continue to press for an early and substantive reply on both issues.
Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action he has taken and will take at intergovernmental and European levels on accusations made by the Spanish Government and by the European Commissioner for Transport that the accident off Galicia involving the oil tanker Prestige was linked to Gibraltar's alleged failure to comply with Community legislation; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. MacShane: We have made clear to the Spanish Government and to the European Commission that the accident off Galicia involving the oil tanker Prestige was in no way linked to any alleged failure by Gibraltar to comply with Community Legislation. The UK's Permanent Representative to the EU wrote to the Commission on this, and I have arranged for a copy of the Commission's letter and the reply to be placed in the Libraries of the House.
Mr. Rammell: The UK has followed with keen interest the Somalia National Reconciliation Conference which started on 15 October in Eldoret and is chaired by Kenya under the auspices of the regional organisation IGAD.
All the faction leaders present in Eldoret signed a Declaration on Cessation of Hostilities and the Structures and Principles of the Somalia National Reconciliation Process on 27 October. This was welcomed by the European Union in a declaration on 28 October.
Mr. Mike O'Brien: It is established Government policy to support British companies with legitimate defence exports and the Embassy in Bangkok has offered commercial assistance to Bae Systems with their efforts to do business in Thailand.
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On 18 October the Ambassador signed a Joint Minute on Defence Co-operation with the Thai Deputy Prime Minister, General Chavalit Yongchaiyudh in Bangkok. The Joint Minute refers to a commercial agreement between Bae Systems and the Royal Thai Government, the details of which are a matter for BAe Systems and the Royal Thai Government.
Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the outcome of the election in Turkey and its impact on Turkey's accession to the EU. 
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