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London 2012

Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans there are to publicise the London 2012 Olympic bid in (a) UK embassies, high commissions and consulate offices and (b) the offices of the British Council after 15 November. [196960]

Mr. Rammell: My hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Mr. Rammell) wrote to all British Heads of Mission whose host countries have nationals on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on 27 September 2004 asking them to provide detailed action plans on how they intend to support and publicise the bid locally. These plans are currently being assessed and will be implemented on 16 November once the IOC rules of international promotion are relaxed. As a minimum posts will conduct public awareness campaigns using local media, post websites and displays of publicity material provided by London 2012.

Sir David Green, Director General of the British Council, will have written by 16 November to all British Council offices in countries with an IOC member to outline how they can support and publicise the bid. British Council offices will liaise with our posts on this issue to ensure our plans complement each other.

Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what briefing papers have been made available to UK ambassadors and high commissioners about the London 2012 Olympic bid; and if he will place all such papers in the Library. [196961]

Mr. Rammell: Foreign and Commonwealth Office missions whose host governments have nationals on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have been provided with briefing papers on London's bid. These papers have been placed in the Library of the House.

Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether a specific member of the Diplomatic Service has been earmarked in each of the bidding cities for the 2012 Olympics to follow the progress of their bids. [196962]

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Mr. Rammell: Following the short listing of candidate cities on 18 May 2004 Paris, Madrid, Moscow and New York appointed a dedicated point of contact to follow progress on rival city bids. British diplomatic missions in countries with nationals on the International Olympic Committee, each have appointed a member of staff to monitor local perceptions of both London's and rival city bids.

Select Committee Recommendations

Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many recommendations by parliamentary select committees have been adopted by his Department since June 2001. [197766]

Mr. Straw: Officials, Ministers and I all take seriously the recommendations of all relevant Select Committee reports, and seek to implement them whenever we can. No response to any such recommendations is made to Parliament without scrutiny by Ministers, normally me. However, the information requested by my hon. Friend is not held centrally and the cost of compiling such information would incur disproportionate costs.

Southern Thailand

Mr. Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment has been made of (a) the extent of Islamic fundamentalism in southern Thailand, (b) the threat that Islamic fundamentalism may pose to the security and stability of Thailand and (c) the possible implications of Thai instability for British interests in the wider region. [197131]

Mr. Alexander: We are concerned by the separatist violence and related deaths in southern Thailand. We remain in close contact with the Thai Government about the situation.

The vast majority of Thailand's Muslims are opposed to extremism and terrorism. We believe, however, that there are a number of small domestic extremist groups involved in terrorist activity in southern Thailand. Terrorism is a challenge to the peace and security of Thailand.

We believe that separatist violence is unlikely to move beyond the borders of Thailand. Our travel advice for Thailand reflects our assessment of the implications for the security of British nationals. We currently recommend against all but essential travel to the far southern provinces of Pattani, Yala, Nathariwat and Songkhla. The travel advice is regularly reviewed.


Ms Atherton: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Spanish authorities in relation to (a) Mr. Peter Devlin and (b) other Cornish divers awaiting trial in Galicia. [195132]

Mr. Alexander: Peter Devlin and three other divers from Force 9 Salvage were arrested on 20 June 2002 and released the same day. The Spanish investigation is
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continuing and the divers have not yet been formally charged. On 9 September 2002, our Honorary Consul in Vigo made representations on behalf of Peter Devlin and the other divers to the Court in La Coruna about the return of some of the company's diving equipment. The court agreed to release equipment not related to the investigation, but we understand not all the requested equipment has been returned. Our Honorary Consul in Vigo has also made enquiries, most recently on 5 November 2004, to the Spanish Navy Commander in Galicia and the President of the Supreme Court in Galicia. Consular officials will continue to monitor the case and provide all proper consular assistance.


Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Government of Sudan about the alleged torture of five men belonging to the Missairiyah tribe by Musa Easa, Salah Eldin Shukry, Mounas Bashar and Tigany in July 2003. [185573]

Mr. Mullin: In the absence of the names of the alleged victims, neither we nor Sudanese human rights organisations, with whom we work closely, are able to trace these cases.

However, we make regular representations to the Government of Sudan about the need for them to respect the human rights of all prisoners held in its jails. During my visit to Sudan in September, I pressed Sudanese Justice Minister Yassin on the need to ratify the UN Convention Against Torture as soon as possible. I understand that a draft law is currently before the Council of Ministers.

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the effects of the delay in deployment of additional ceasefire monitors by the African Union to Darfur; and if he will make a statement. [194827]

Mr. Mullin: On 20 October the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council endorsed a plan to expand the current mission from less than 500 troops to more than 3,000 over the next four months. This deployment has been expedited, and in recent days a significant number of Rwandan and Nigerian troops have arrived in Darfur.

As my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister announced in Addis Ababa on 7 October, the UK will provide £12 million to support the rapid deployment of the expanded mission. We are working closely with the AU and other donors to ensure that the infrastructure is in place to ensure these personnel can be fully deployed on arrival in Addis Ababa.

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what evidence he has received that African Union monitors are present in every administrative unit in Darfur. [196081]

Mr. Mullin: African Union (AU) ceasefire monitors are currently deployed across six sectors of operation (out of a total of 20) in all three states of Darfur.
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Following expansion of the African Union force in Sudan, over 3,000 troops will be deployed across eight sectors covering the whole of Darfur. This substantial increase in troop numbers will allow the AU to carry out a more proactive monitoring role.


Mr. Win Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the agreement signed between residents at Camp Ashraf and the multi-national forces in Iraq rejecting participation in, or support for, terrorism; and whether signatories to it are still proscribed under the Terrorism Act 2000. [197504]

Mr. Rammell: The US authorities, who provide security at the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MeK) base at Camp Ashraf, have informed us that most residents of Ashraf have signed a statement renouncing terrorism and pledging not to take up arms illegally. We have noted this. But it does not change our assessment of the MeK, which takes into account all the evidence, including the MeK's long history of brutal terrorist violence, and the fact that it did not disarm voluntarily.

Under the Terrorism Act 2000, it is organisations, not individuals, which may be proscribed. The MeK continues to be so proscribed. Among other provisions of the Act, a person commits an offence if s/he belongs to, professes to belong to, or invites support for a proscribed organisation.

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