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2 Dec 2004 : Column 226W—continued

Wind Turbine Projects

Mr. Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assistance her Department is giving to encourage UK firms to compete in the provision of wind turbine projects in England. [200964]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: There are significant opportunities for UK companies to win a share of the developing onshore and offshore markets. We are working to help UK companies win business in the very competitive wind turbine market. We have published a series of market reports which have identified opportunities for UK businesses and delivered a programme of meet the buyer events which has given UK companies the opportunity to meet the major turbine manufacturers and to discuss supply requirements. DTI also maintains close links with RDA's and regional renewable champions to assist in developing business and identifying inward investment opportunities—which can also create business for UK industry.


Equatorial Guinea

Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what actions were taken to establish whether UK nationals were involved in the (a) October 2003 and (b) March 2004 coup attempts in Equatorial Guinea; and what the results were of the investigations. [199891]

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Mr. Straw [holding answer 30 November 2004]: I refer the right hon. and learned Gentleman to the written statement I made on Equatorial Guinea on 1 December 2004, Official Report, column 37WS.

European Commission (Departmental Press Releases)

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the Whitehall Departments whose default setting is just to put out press releases attacking the European Commission as mentioned by the Minister of Europe in his interview with the Financial Times on 17 November. [200046]

Mr. MacShane: No.

European Constitution

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) why the official text of the EU Treaty on the European Constitution published by the EU differs from the version on the internet; and when he intends to place the UK Government's text of the treaty on the internet; [200475]

(2) how many versions of the treaty establishing the European Constitution his Department has published; what further revisions he expects to be made; and when he anticipates that a final version will be published. [200509]

Mr. MacShane: The Government have striven to provide Parliament with the most up to date texts of the EU constitution since the beginning of treaty negotiations. In doing so, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has published two versions of the treaty as Command Papers. These are the Convention's draft (CONV 850/03) and the Provisional Consolidated Version of the Treaty (CIG86/04) as agreed on 17 June at the European Council. Subsequent revisions of the treaty in light of the jurist-linguist process have been deposited in the Library of the House as they have been published. The most up to date versions of the treaty have also been posted on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website:, the current version posted being the most recent, CIG87/2/04. The Government have now received the final treaty (the text of which is identical to CIG87/2/04) signed on 29 October and sealed on 8 November and are currently preparing this as a Command Paper to be deposited in Parliament as soon as possible.

European Union

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he will announce the logo for the UK Presidency of the EU in July 2005. [200936]

Mr. MacShane: The logo will be made public in early 2005.


Mr. Win Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he had prior knowledge of recent EU discussions with Hamas; and what assessment he has made of the implications of these discussions for dealing with problems involving proscribed organisations under UK terrorist legislation. [200666]

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Mr. Rammell: The Government were aware of EU contacts with Hamas before Hamas was placed on the European Union's list of terrorist organisations in September 2003. These contacts were to support Palestinian Authority efforts to improve security for both Israelis and Palestinians. Since these contacts ceased before the listing, they did not create a problem in relation to our national policy on contacts with proscribed organisations.


Rev. Martin Smyth: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of (a) recent attacks on Christians and (b) the overall security situation in Nagaland. [200120]

Mr. Alexander [holding answer 29 November 2004]: The UK Government condemn the persecution of individuals or groups because of their religion or beliefs. The UK Government believe that the democratic process in India is the best protection for a peaceful and secure country. The Government have raised the issues of minorities with the Indian Government, and will continue to urge the Indian authorities to ensure that the right to freedom of religion is upheld, and that those responsible for attacks on religious minorities are brought to justice. The UK Government welcome the remarks by Dr. Manmohan Signh in his first press conference as Prime Minister, when he said

The British High Commission in India continues to monitor developments in Nagaland. A ceasefire remains in place and this has led to a significant improvement in the security situation. A tragic bombing incident took place in Dimapur in early October, which we have strongly condemned. Although the culprits are yet to be identified local observers believe that the incident was perpetrated by outsiders and does not signal a general return to violence. Discussions are proceeding between the Government of India and one of the major militant factions on a political resolution of the conflict. The British High Commissioner visited Nagaland from 13–15 November to update himself on developments.


Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to Turkey about the recent Turkish (a) air force violations of Greek airspace and (b) coastguard violations of Greek territorial waters; and if he will make a statement. [199551]

Mr. MacShane: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has had no recent discussions on this issue with Turkey.

The Government welcomes the contacts which continue between the Governments of Greece and Turkey with a view to the consolidation of improvements in bilateral relations.
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Mr. Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on Vietnam's accession to the World Trade Organisation. [199565]

Mr. MacShane: The Government strongly support Vietnam's accession into the WTO. It believes the WTO delivers benefits for all its members, particularly developing countries. We are pleased that on 9 October the European Commission, which has exclusive competence in such bilateral negotiations on behalf of the EU, agreed bilateral access aspects of the WTO accession for Vietnam. The EU is Vietnam's biggest trading partner and is one of the first to settle bilateral access negotiations with Vietnam.

The Government will continue to support Vietnam's accession as it seeks to conclude bilateral negotiations with a number of other important WTO members (including China, Japan, Australia and the US). The Department for International Development is supporting analytical work on the accession tariff reduction options and possible implications for policies, including social and poverty impacts, in Vietnam.

Vietnam's terms for acceding to the WTO will be based upon the outcome of these bilateral negotiations together with agreement reached at the multilateral level within the WTO Working Party. If agreement is reached at both these levels then we hope Vietnam will accede to the WTO after the organisation's ministerial meeting in Hong Kong in December 2005.

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