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Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the use made by the Palestinian Authority of funding supplied to it by the European Union; and what steps are taken to ensure that such aid is used for the purposes for which it is intended. 
Mr. MacShane: As my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary made clear on 21 January 2003, Official Report column 149, it is our assessment that EU assistance to the Palestinian Authority provides essential support, without which it is likely that it would not be able to continue operating. At the London meeting on Palestinian reform on 14 January, there was widespread recognition that the Palestinian Authority had achieved great progress in reforming the way that their financial systems operate.
We attach great importance to the highest standards of financial management being adhered to in the disbursement of all EU funding and take seriously any allegations of misuse. The European Commission has in place a number of stringent monitoring and control measures in the implementation of EU financial assistance programmes and disbursements of EU monies to the Palestinian Authority. To date, the Commission has found no evidence that EU monies have been misused by the Palestinian Authority in order to finance terrorism or for anything other than their agreed purpose.
The European Commission has committed itself to continuing to help the Ministry of Finance ensure proper oversight of all Palestinian Authority finances. This is a core objective of several conditions attached to EU budgetary support. A letter of 21 January 2003 from External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten to the European Parliament setting out in detail the Commission's oversight of funding to the Palestinian Authority is available on its Europa website www.europa.eu.int.
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Dr. Pugh: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment the Department has made of whether there is forensic evidence that incriminates the British detainees charged with bombings in Saudi Arabia. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 6 February 2003, Official Report, column 386W.
Mr. Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the decision by the Yugoslav parliament to loosen ties between Serbia and Montenegro; what implications he estimates this will have for the future of the region; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. MacShane: On 4 February I congratulated the leaders of Serbia and Montenegro on adopting their new Constitutional Charter, which redefined future relations between the two republics and replaced the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. In doing so they have clearly shown to the region a readiness to resolve their differences through peaceful negotiation. Under the new arrangements Serbia and Montenegro will share control of foreign affairs, defence, foreign economic relations, internal economic relations and human and minority rights. But they have also retained the option of reconsidering, after three years and via a referendum, the status of Serbia and Montenegro.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the sale of the Alenia Marconi Systems radar system to the Government of Sudan and its use by that government. 
Mr. Rammell [holding answer 7 February 2003]: A modern air traffic control system is needed for the large number of commercial and humanitarian flights that fly over and within Sudan and is crucial for the safety of United Nations and Non-Governmental Organisations staff involved in the delivery of vital humanitarian aid in Sudan, the majority of which is currently transported by air. Officials have discussed with aid agencies their concerns about the system.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the Government's policy on arms exports to Sudan; and what steps it has taken to support the EU common position on arms exports to Sudan. 
Mr. Rammell [holding answer 7 February 2003]: EU Common Position 94/165/CFSP, adopted on 16 March 1994, imposed an arms embargo on Sudan in response to the ongoing civil war. We fully support the EU arms embargo and expect it to remain as long as civil war continues.
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Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with European Union Member States on the opportunity for human rights observers to visit Abdullah Ocalan in prison in Turkey; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. MacShane: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs has not discussed this issue with EU member states.
The Council of Europe's Committee on the Prevention of Torture has visited Imrali prison where Mr .Ocalan is held.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when Her Majesty's Government was approached by the French Government to seek agreement for a relaxation of the European Union travel ban on President Mugabe of Zimbabwe; what the purpose was of seeking the relaxation; over what period the allocation was sought; which other Ministers and officials were covered by the prospect of relaxation; when agreement with France was reached; what the reasons for agreeing to the relaxation were; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Rammell [holding answer 28 January 2003]: The French mentioned, in the margins of the Copenhagen summit in December, that they were considering inviting Mugabe to Paris for the France-Africa summit scheduled two days after sanctions are due to expire. The French made a formal written request to all EU partners on 23 January; this included requests for visa waivers for Robert Mugabe, Mrs. Mugabe and Foreign Minister Stan Mudenge to attend the France-Africa summit on 20 and 21 February. Apart from this request and responses by a number of member states, which are EU internal documents, there was no correspondence on this matter. Discussion on this issue continues in Brussels. We have made clear throughout our support for the sanctions regime including the travel ban.
Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the Foreign Secretary was informed of the French Government's intentions to request a visa waiver for Mr. Robert Mugabe to attend the Franco-African summit in Paris in February. 
Mr. Rammell: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale (Mr. Moore) today, UIN 94095.
Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the British Government was first informed by the French Government that the French Government wished to invite President Mugabe to the Franco-African Summit in Paris on 19 to 21 February 2003; what the British Government's response was; what discussions the UK
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Government had with the French Government on this issue; if he will place copies of the relevant correspondence in the Library; and if he will make a statement. 
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Mr. Rammell [holding answer 7 February 2003]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale (Mr. Moore) today, UIN 94095.