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Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate his Department has made of the size of the black market in Iraq in respect of the supply of petrol and oil for domestic use; and if he will make a statement. 
The black market in the supply of petrol and oil for domestic use in Iraq continues to be a major challenge for the Iraqi authorities. The Coalition Provisional Authority quickly took steps to stop smuggling and the black market in oil products, but much more needs to be done to identify and plug leaks in the system that have arisen as a result of a long history of smuggling under the former regime and the fact that Iraq has the cheapest petrol and petroleum products in the region. We expect the Iraqi authorities under the newly elected Government to remain committed to combating smuggling and reducing subsidies for oil products, which will go a long way to reducing the scale of the problem.
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Mr. Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment has been made of the political impact of possible under-representation of Sunnis in a future Iraqi legislature and the subsequent implications of this for the security situation in Iraq. 
Mr. MacShane: Although levels of participation in the elections were impressive it is clear that terrorist violence and intimidation deterred some Iraqis from voting, particularly in Sunni areas. The Government attach great importance to an inclusive political process as the best means of isolating those seeking to undermine progress. We welcome the emphasis Iraq's political and religious leaders have put on a constitutional process which reflects the full diversity of Iraqi society and Prime Minister Allawi's call on 31 January for national dialogue that guarantees all Iraqis a voice in the next Government.
Mr. Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment has been made of the potential for instability in Kirkuk between Kurds and Arabs. 
Mr. MacShane: We are fully aware of concerns among the different communities in Kirkuk about the future of the city. Resolving these will be an important issue for Iraqis to decide in the years ahead. We will continue to encourage all communities in Kirkuk to avoid any premature action which could destabilise the situation and to pursue a peaceful, negotiated solution to outstanding disputes.
Mr. Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment has been made of the desire among Kurds for (a) an independent Kurdistan and (b) Kurdish autonomy within a federal Iraq. 
Mr. MacShane: Federalism issues, including the level of autonomy of the Kurdish regions, will be a matter for Iraqis to address in the process of drafting a new constitution once the Transitional National Assembly and Government are in place.
Mr. Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment has been made of the likely Kurdish participation in the forthcoming Iraqi elections. 
Mr. MacShane: Although official figures for participation in the elections in Iraq are not yet available, early reports and polling evidence suggest a very high Kurdish turnout.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the extent to which the Coalition Provisional Authority complied with United Nations resolution 1483, concerning control of Iraq's oil revenues; what assessment he has made of whether those funds were independently monitored and fully accounted for; whether the auditor appointed in April 2004 has reported; and if he will make a statement. 
United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1483 of 22 May 2003 called for Iraq's oil revenues to be used in a transparent manner for purposes benefiting the Iraqi people, and export sales of petroleum and petroleum products to be made
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consistent with international market best practice. An International Advisory and Monitoring Board (IAMB) was also established to ensure the Development Fund for Iraq (DFI) was used in a transparent manner for the purposes set out in UNSCR 1483.
On 14 December 2004 the IAMB released its report covering Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) management of the DFI from 22 May 2003 to the end of occupation on 28 June 2004. This was based on two audit reports to the IAMB prepared by the external auditor (KPMG). Reports are available on the lAMB's website at www.iamb.info.
Both audit reports conclude that, with the exception of smuggling, the DFI Statement of Cash Receipts and Payment presents fairly, in all material respects, the receipts and payments of the DFI". The IAMB report recognises that
all known oil proceeds, reported frozen assets, and transfers from the Oil-for-Food Programme have been properly and transparently accounted for in the DPI".
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreignand Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations for (a) the winding up of the UN Compensation Commission as soon as the new Iraqi Government is formed and (b) the return of all unspent monies to the new Iraqi Government. 
Mr. MacShane [holding answer 2 February 2005]: The UK recognises the importance of the compensation issue to Iraq but also to those individuals, States, and corporations with outstanding claims. Under UN Security Council Resolution 1483, Iraqi payments to the United Nations Compensation Commission (UNCC) can be changed only by a decision of a sovereign Iraqi Government and of the UNCC Governing Council.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which (a) countries and (b) organisations will be represented at the forthcoming London conference on the Middle East peace process in March; at what level they will be represented; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Alexander: We are inviting members of the Quartet (UN, EU, US and Russia), the G8 and those who play a significant role in the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee and the International Task Force for Palestinian Reform to the London Meeting on 1 March. We envisage they will be represented at Foreign Minister level.
The London Meeting aims to support the new Palestinian leadership in strengthening Palestinian institutions and to make the most of this window of opportunity. More effective institutions are required by the Roadmap and are essential for a future Palestinian state. The London Meeting will provide an opportunity for the new Palestinian leadership to showcase their successes so far on state-building issues and their future plans to build a government with local and international credibility. The meeting is designed to build upon and complement existing work being done by the World Bank, the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee, the Quartet, the
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Task Force on Palestinian Reform and others. The meeting will cover issues relating to economic reform, good governance and security.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs for what reasons the Unilateral Statement by the European Community on competence division was included in the Co-operation Agreement between the Community and Pakistan set out on page 36 of OJ L 378 volume 47 of 23 December 2004. 
Mr. MacShane: The Trade and Co-operation Agreement between the Community and Pakistan is based on Articles 133, 181, in conjunction with the first sentence of Article 300(2) and the first subparagraph of Article 300(3) of the treaty establishing the European Community. The Final Act of the Agreement contains a Joint Declaration by the European Community and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan whereby the Islamic Republic of Pakistan undertakes to conclude readmission agreements with the member states of the European Union which so request. Such agreements are provided for in the last paragraph of Article 63 of the treaty but they fall within the competence of member states, ie outside the scope of the treaty.
The Unilateral Statement on the division of competences, contained in the Final Act, makes clear that the inclusion of the Joint Declaration on readmission does not prejudice the division of competences between the European Community and the member states on the issue of readmission.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what assessment his Department has made of the deployment of Palestinian police in Southern Gaza on 26 January; what assessment his Department has made of the impact that this deployment will have on the peace process; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what discussions (a) he, (b) officials in his Department and (c) representatives of the UK Government have had with members and representatives of (i) the Palestinian authority and (ii) the Government of Israel on the deployment of Palestinian police in Southern Gaza; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) what (a) financial assistance, (b) logistical assistance and (c) assistance in kind (i) his Department, (ii) the UK Government and (iii) the EU have (A) offered and (B) delivered to the Palestinian Authority for the deployment of Palestinian police (1) in Southern Gaza, (2) Gaza as a whole and (3) the West Bank; and if he will make a statement. 
We welcome the deployment of Palestinian police which began in Northern Gaza on 21 January, and Southern Gaza on 26 January, as the latest in a series of positive steps by the new Palestinian leadership. We also welcome the Israeli reaction to the measures taken by the Palestinian Authority, which has been positive and helpful. We hope that both parties can continue to move forward and make progress on getting back to the Roadmap.
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We have been in regular discussion with the Israeli and Palestinian leadership on security matters and will continue this contact. The UK Government have also been working for some time with the Palestinian Authority to improve security apparatus in Gaza and West Bank, through technical assistance and provision of equipment. We are working, through the Department for International Development, with the Palestinian Civil Police. And we are working with European Union partners on a significant assistance project for Palestinian civil policing.
The London Meeting on 1 March will be the next stage in the process of exploring how we and the international community can help the Palestinian Authority develop a more effective security apparatus and work towards building the institutions of a future Palestinian state. Stronger institutions will help the Palestinian Authority take over more successfully the territories from which Israel will withdraw in the context of the disengagement plan. They will also ensure that disengagement can hasten a return to the Roadmap.
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