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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the Government of (a) Colombia and (b) Venezuela regarding the dispute over the arrest of FARC member Rodrigo Granda. 
We have not had specific discussions with the Colombian or Venezuelan Governments on this issue, although it has been touched on during regular contacts between our embassies and the respective governments.
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The two countries recently issued a communique" stating that the dispute has been resolved. We understand that the Venezuelan ambassador to Colombia has now returned to his post in Bogota. We are pleased that the two countries appear to be committed to a swift diplomatic resolution of the crisis.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what involvement the European Communities have had in commemorative anniversary events held by the Government since 1997. 
Mr. MacShane: The Government frequently hold commemorative events of various kinds. From time to time representatives of other EU member states or EU institutions take part in such events, depending on their nature. To answer this question in more detail would incur disproportionate costs.
Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the objectives of the Government are in relation to a common foreign and security policy in the European Union. 
Mr. MacShane: The Government continue to work to develop a more effective and proactive EU common foreign and security policy capable of tackling key international issues and security threats as well as being able to react rapidly and appropriately to crises. The Government's objectives in relation to the EU's common foreign and security policy in 2005 are set out in paragraphs 64 to 87 in the White Paper titled Prospects for the EU in 2005" (Cm 6450). Copies are available in the Library of the House. The Government have made a commitment to keep Parliament informed of their priorities/objectives across the range of EU business through the regular publication of these White Papers.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the (a) budget, (b) aims and (c) target group of the Communities MEDIA Training programme; and if he will list projects funded to date involving United Kingdom partners. 
The MEDIA Training programme is part of the European Union's audio-visual policy. The MEDIA training budget for the six years 200106 is €59.4 million. The aims of the programme are to improve the continuous vocational training of professionals in the audio-visual sector; and encourage co-operation and exchange of know-how and best practice. Training activities supported by the MEDIA Training Programme are mainly targeted at professionals in the audio-visual industry and from radio, in particular: new media content providers, professionals from the animation industry, professionals from post-production, notably visual
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effects supervisors, managers, producers, directors, sales agents, distributors, marketing executives, script-writers, script-editors, commissioning editors, as well as trainers. The following table sets out the training courses (and their
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providers) funded to date involving United Kingdom partners. UK professionals have also benefited from courses which are not organised by United Kingdom partners.
|Training provider||Training course|
|2001||Moonstone International||Moonstone Filmmaker's Lab and Moonstone Screenwriter's Lab|
|2001||Arista||Arista Development Workshops|
|2002||Draft Zero||EdeNEuropean Development Network|
|2003||Moonstone International||Moonstone Filmmaker's Lab and Moonstone Screenwriter's Lab|
|2003||The Script Factory||Scene Insiders|
|2003||Draft Zero||EdeNEuropean Development Network|
|2004||Arista Development||Arista Development Workshops|
|2004||Moonstone International||Moonstone Filmmaker's Lab and Moonstone Screenwriter's Lab|
|2004||The Script Factory||Scene Insiders|
|2004||University of West England||The Three Month Bristol Animation Course|
Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he will reply to the letter dated 1 December 2004 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Saif-Ur-Rehman. 
Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he will reply to the letter dated 30 December 2004 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton, with regard to Mr. M. Abbas. 
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate he has made of the number of people in Cuba who are (a) serving prison sentences and (b) awaiting trial for political reasons. 
Mr. Rammell: The Cuban Government do not acknowledge the existence of political prisoners, nor do they disclose the number of those awaiting trial. Our Embassy in Havana maintains contact with a number of civil society groups that monitor prisoner numbers and conditions within these constraints. One of these, the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation estimates in its January 2005 report that there are currently 294 prisoners who are either serving sentences or awaiting trial for political reasons.
Mr. Rammell: I welcome the adoption of the EU Council Conclusions on Cuba on 31 January which should help enable us to pursue a critical engagement with the Cuban Government and to have enhanced contacts with the peaceful opposition. We believe this approach is the right way to achieve the EU's objectives as set out in the Common Position of 1996, including to promote the peaceful transition to a pluralist democracy in Cuba. Normalised contact with the Cuban Government will enable the UK Government to press the Cuban Government on issues of concernespecially human rights, including our call for the release of all political prisonersand to further UK/Cuba co-operation in areas of mutual interest such as the fight against crime, child protection and in developing sustainable tourism in Cuba.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how often since 1997 (a) he, (b) officials in his Department and (c) representatives of the UK Government have (i)brought and (ii) sought to bring the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo for discussions in the UN Security Council; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Mullin: The Security Council recognised the severity of the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in its Presidential Statement (1998/26) of 31 August 1998. Since that date the situation in the DRC has been regularly on the Security Council agenda. The Security Council's most recent statement was published on 7 December 2004.
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