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Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list overseas trips he and his departmental Ministers have made on official business or using official transport since 1997, broken down by date. 
Mr. Straw [holding answer 31 January 2005]: The information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost. However, since 1999, the Government publish, on an annual basis, the total cost of all ministerial overseas travel and a list of all visits by Cabinet Ministers costing in excess of £500. Copies of the lists are available in the Library of the House. These report information reaching back to 199596.
Although there have been no recent ministerial exchanges on the treatment of Christians in Pakistan, the British Government continues to take a serious view of any persecution of minorities and of other religious intolerance and discrimination in Pakistan. We raise our human rights concerns with the
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Pakistani authorities, including on the treatment of Christians, in concert with our EU partners, most recently in December 2004.
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the source is of the information on the Foreign Office website on travel advice for those visiting Sri Lanka; and how the information is updated. 
Mr. Alexander: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) travel advice draws on a variety of sources including the local knowledge and experience of the FCO's overseas posts and intelligence sources. South Asia Group within the FCO is responsible for collating and assessing this information before it is published on the website. Our travel advice is kept under constant review. It is routinely checked once a month and following any significant incident. At a minimum, it must be revised and re-issued at least once every three months. In a developing crisis, the advice can be updated much more regularly, sometimes several times a day. Substantive amendments, such as a change to the level of advice, are agreed by my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary.
Mr. Alexander: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office aims to recruit the most talented candidates from all areas of the UK's diverse population. In addition to the requirement under the Civil Service Commissioner's Code to advertise external vacancies nationwide in national and regional press, we advertise in the ethnic minority press as well as professional and specialist publications.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the Sudanese authorities regarding the cases of (a) Dr. Mudawi Ibrahim Adam of the Sudan Social Development Organisation and (b) Mr.Abu-aminaa of the Sudanese Army. 
Mr. Mullin: We are concerned about the arrest and detention of Dr. Adam and of Mr. Abu-aminaa. We have raised Dr. Adam's case numerous times with the Sudanese authorities since his arrest in December 2003 and will continue to do so. I have asked our Ambassador in Khartoum to raise the case of Mr.Abu-aminaa with the Sudanese Government.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will instruct the UK representation in Sudan to investigate the case of Shamseldiu Idries-Al-amiu recently deceased. 
Mr. Mullin: Following the death of Shamseldiu Idries-Al-amiu on 10 September 2004, we raised our concerns with the Government of Sudan as part of the EU-Sudan Human Rights dialogue with the Government.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the total travel costs to his Department have been for (a) Ministers, (b) special advisers and (c) officials for each year since 1997. 
|Financial year||Overseas travel||UK travel|
Details of travel costs for special advisers and officials could be provided only at disproportionate cost. However, travel costs for those advisers who accompany their Ministers overseas are included in the annual list of Overseas Travel by Cabinet Ministers.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs who signed the Agreements of OJ L 391 volume 47 of 31 December 2004 on behalf of the Zimbabwean Government; where the signing took place; what travel restrictions applied to the individuals involved; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Gift Punungwe, the Zimbabwean Ambassador in Brussels, signed the Agreements in OJ L 391 volume 47 of 31 December 2004 on behalf of the Zimbabwean Government. EU sanctions were not lifted to enable this procedure to take place, and did not need to be lifted. Mr. Punungwe is not on the EU's visa ban list. It is normal practice for Ambassadors in Brussels to sign agreements on behalf of their countries.
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Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what the total expenditure by his Department on external consultants was in (a) 199697 and (b) 200304; and what the estimated cost of employing external consultants will be in (i) 200405, (ii) 200506, (iii) 200607 and (iv) 200708. 
Mr. Touhig: The Wales Office was established July 1999. The total cost for external consultants incurred during 200304 was £587. The Wales Office is not currently anticipating that it will incur any costs for external consultants in 200405, 200506, 200607 or 200708.
Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will set out, with statistical information relating as directly as possible to the Clwyd, South constituency, the effects on Clwyd, South of his Department's policies and actions since 2 May 1997. 
Mr. Touhig: The Wales Office was established on 1 July 1999 with a remit to ensure the smooth running of the Welsh devolution settlement. This applies to the whole of Wales and it is not possible to distinguish the effect on a particular constituency. The Wales Office has reported annually on its activities in its departmental reports and, following the machinery of Government changes in 2003, in its annual report (Cm 6228) published in April 2004.
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