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11 Feb 2003 : Column 721Wcontinued
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many UK nationals are held in (a) prison, (b) custody and (c) detention in the United States of America; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: As of 30 January 2003 we were aware of 534 British citizens in prison in the US, 97 British citizens in custody in the US and 60 British citizens in detention in the US. The table gives a breakdown of the numbers detained in each of our consular districts in the US. We have interpreted the "in prison" cases as those serving custodial sentences following a criminal conviction, the "in custody" cases as those awaiting trial or sentencing and the "in detention" cases as those detained by the US Immigration and Nationalisation Service (INS).
|Post||In prison||In custody||In detention|
Mr. Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has to visit the Balkan countries to assess the progress that has been made towards peace and security in the region; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. MacShane: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary visited the Balkans in November 2002 and held useful talks with the political leaders in Belgrade, Pristina and Sarajevo. I also visited the region several times last year. I would expect further such visits to go ahead this year. My right hon. Friend and I were encouraged by progress made so far, especially in maintaining peace and security in Bosnia and Kosovo. The Foreign Secretary and I have also held talks with Lord Ashdown and Michael Steiner, the UN Secretary General's Special Representative for Kosovo, in respect of their work in Bosnia and Kosovo. The new arrangements redefining the relationship between Serbia and Montenegro are a good example of how differences can be resolved in the Balkans through peaceful negotiation. We will continue to engage closely with all governments in the region to integrate them more fully with the EU and international community. This includes improved co-operation with the International Criminal Tribunal on the former Yugoslavia.
Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many (a) embassies
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and (b) high commissions there are abroad; and how many have been (i) closed and (ii) opened in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Straw: The FCO is currently represented overseas in 106 embassies and 46 high commissions.
The table gives details of the opening of embassies and high commissions since 1997. There have been no closures of embassies or high commissions during this period. In some cases the mission has been opened previously but not formally as an embassy or high commission. The previous status of the mission is signified in the table.
In addition to these missions the FCO has opened 18 subordinate posts and closed six.
|Asmara||1||Previously opened in 199394 with local staff only|
|Tripoli, Libya||1||Mission originally represented by British Interest Section in the Italian embassy|
|Bamako||1||Previously opened in 2000 with local staff only|
|Conakry||1||Previously opened in 19992000 with local staff only|
|Dili||1||Mission originally opened in 2000 as an office of Jakarta|
Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the costs were of events and publicity sponsored and organised by his Department in the United Kingdom and abroad to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the United Kingdom's accession to the European Union. 
Mr. MacShane: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office produced a variety of written material to mark the 30th anniversary of the UK's EU accession for use in electronic and print media. This included articles for the press and a quiz, displayed on the FCO website and distributed to the regional press via the Government News Network (GNN) at a cost of £500.
The FCO also sponsored a display of European Poems on the Underground related to the 30th anniversary. This project was designed to raise awareness of the anniversary and of the FCO website (which gives detailed information about the EU) among the 2.2 million people who use the tube every day, as well as wider media. The total cost of the project was £15,000.
Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what sanctions are available to the EU in the event of a non-EU state breaching the terms of an Association Agreement with the EU. 
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Mr. MacShane: The provisions of the Association Agreements vary. In the case of Association Agreements between the EU and Euro-Mediterranean Partner countries there are provisions for referring any dispute between the Parties to arbitration. If either Party considers that the other has failed to fulfil an obligation under the Agreement it may take appropriate measures, giving priority to those which least disturb the functioning of the Agreement.
Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is taking to ensure British prisoners detained at Guantanamo Bay are treated in accordance with international law. 
Mr. Straw: I have had regular contacts with the US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, about the position of the British detainees at Guantanamo Bay, most recently on 23 January. We have made clear our position that, whatever their status, the detainees are entitled to humane treatment, and, if prosecuted, a fair trial. The US has assured us it is treating the men humanely and in accordance with the principles of the Geneva Conventions.
British officials have visited the detainees on four occasions to check on their welfare and none showed any visible signs of mistreatment.
Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the US Administration to arrange the (a) repatriation and (b) trial of British prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Straw: I have had regular contacts with the US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, about the position of the British Detainees at Guantanamo Bay, most recently on 23 January. We have encouraged the US to move forward with the process of determining the detainees' future, and shall continue to do so. Any prosecution of the detainees in the UK would be a matter for the Crown Prosecution Service, not the Government.
Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on what occasions since 21st October 2002 UK Ministers have raised with Israel in (a) bilateral meetings and (b) correspondence the issue of goods from settlements in the Occupied Territories. 
Mr. MacShane: This specific issue has not been raised in Ministerial contacts since 21 October 2002. The UK Permanent Representative to the European Union raised it in talks with the Israeli Ambassador to the EU in January.
Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to his Answer of 3 February, Official Report, column 8W, on Israel, whether proposals have yet been produced
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by Israel on the issue of goods exported to the EU which come from settlements in the Occupied Territories. 
Mr. MacShane: Israel has not yet produced proposals. Now that the election period is over, we hope Israel will do so without delay.
Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which European capital cities the Minister for Europe has visited since his appointment; and which European capital cities he plans to visit over the next three months. 
Mr. MacShane [holding answer 10 February 2003]: I have visited Berlin, Bratislava, Brussels, Budapest, Copenhagen, Dublin, Paris, Prague, Rome, Tallinn Vienna and Vilnius since my appointment. I will continue my programme of visits to European capitals over the next three months and beyond.
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