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Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations the UK has made to the Government of Spain regarding its decision to legalise over a million illegal immigrants. 
We do not believe that governments should tell other governments what their sovereign policy on work and residence permits should be, so we have not sought to tell Spain what their policy should be.
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Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to his oral evidence to the European Scrutiny Committee on 8th February, whether it is his Department's assessment that any UK legislation to restrict stem cell research would be contrary to article 13 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. 
Mr. MacShane: Any UK legislation on stem cell research would be drafted so as to be consistent with the European Convention on Human Rights and in particular with the right to freedom of thought and expression enshrined in that Convention, from which Article 13 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights is derived.
Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the property belonging to his Department that has (a) been stolen and (b) been reported lost in each year since 1997, broken down by type of article. 
Mr. Rammell: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) maintains an inventory system that comprises a fixed asset register and a non-financial asset inventory worth £1,237,864,000 (200304 figures). This covers FCO property held in FCO buildings in the UK and at all overseas missions. The fixed asset register is subject to verification by the FCO Home Estates Department (for the UK) and by overseas missions, usually twice a year. There is a £3,000 threshold for recording centrally FCO fixed assets, which meets FCO fixed assets policy and follows government guidelines. Details of property worth less than £3,000 are only kept by the relevant custodians.
All FCO entrances are guarded on a 24/7 basis. Most FCO non Information and Communications Technology (ICT) property worth more than £3,000 have electronic security tags. Very heavy and bulky items worth more than £3,000 are not electronically tagged but, given the 24/7 guarding arrangements, the chances of the theft of these items is very limited. Since 1997, there have been no reports of lost or stolen FCO non ICT items worth more than £3,000.
FCO ICT items are recorded using a bar code system. £4,100 worth of FCO ICT equipment was reported lost in 2004 when we started formally to record these figures. The four items lost were worth less than £3,000 each.
Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which consultants were used to evaluate the cost of embassies and assess the value of embassy land proposed to be sold in Thailand; and what costs were incurred. 
[holding answer 22 February 2005]: Since 2002, when the present project commenced, we have used Brooke Real Estate to provide market updates at six monthly intervals on the diplomatic estate in Bangkok, at a total cost of £16,846.
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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) if he will urge the Government of Uzbekistan to undertake an impartial review of all cases of imprisoned journalists in Uzbekistan; 
(2) what representations he has made to the Government of Uzbekistan about (a) the relaxation of the system of state control over the media through reform of the Agency on Press and Information, (b) easing registration requirements for media outlets and (c) instructing officials to end informal and formal interference in media operations; 
(3) what representations he has made to the Government of Uzbekistan about strengthening media freedom by (a) ending harassment and censorship of journalists and media outlets and (b) permitting the re-opening of newspapers closed since March 2002. 
In April 2004, the UK supported the decision of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to cut around $31 million in economic aid projects to Uzbekistan. Among the reasons given for this action was the lack of press freedom in Uzbekistan.
In May 2004 our former ambassador to Tashkent marked World Press Freedom Day by delivering a public statement that was critical of media conditions in Uzbekistan. I have publicly backed the statements our former ambassador made regarding human rights abuses in Uzbekistan.
We frequently lobby the Uzbek authorities on cases of apparent injustice and harassment of the media that are brought to our attention. For example, with the EU, we raised with Foreign Minister Safayev the issue of Ruslan Sharipov, the journalist and human rights activist arrested in May 2003.
We will continue to urge the Uzbek authorities to work towards greater freedom of the media and freedom of speech, both bilaterally and with multilateral organisations. We shall also continue to raise with the Uzbek Government individual cases that are brought to our attention. I intend to raise the issue of an impartial review of imprisoned journalists with the Uzbek authorities during my forthcoming visit to Tashkent.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what measures he has taken to discourage oil companies from operating within the disputed territory of the Western Sahara. 
Mr. Rammell: The Government regard the sovereignty of Western Sahara as undetermined pending United Nations efforts to find a solution to the dispute over the territory. The UN legal counsel gave an opinion on the signing of contracts for exploration of mineral resources in Western Sahara in 2002 (S/2002/161 of 12 February 2002). We fully support this advice.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the recent report by the UN Secretary General about progress towards the referendum on self-determination in the Western Sahara, including the future of MINURSO. 
Mr. Rammell: The United Kingdom fully supports the efforts of the UN Secretary-General and his special representative Alvaro de Soto to find a just, lasting and mutually acceptable solution to the Western Sahara dispute which provides the people of the Western Sahara with an opportunity to exercise their right to self-determination.
The Government regard the sovereignty of Western Sahara as undetermined pending United Nations efforts to find a solution to the dispute over the territory. We fully support the efforts of the UN Secretary-General to find a fair and lasting solution.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Government of Morocco on the continuing detention of Saharawi dissidents in El Ayoun prisons. 
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