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Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Lebanese authorities on the planned withdrawal of Syrian forces; and what discussions he has had with representatives of the Maronite Christian community. 
Mr. Mullin: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has had no discussions with the Lebanese authorities about the withdrawal of Syrian forces, or with the representatives of the Maronite Christian community. During her visit to Lebanon last month, my right hon. and noble Friend, Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean discussed the political situation in Lebanon with Lebanese Foreign Minister Hammoud. Our embassy in Beirut has regular contact with representatives from across the Lebanese political spectrum, including the Maronite Christian community.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with (a) European, (b) US, (c) Syrian and (d) Lebanese counterparts about the situation in Lebanon and the withdrawal of Syrian forces; and if he will make a statement. 
My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary discussed the situation in Lebanon and the Syrian withdrawal with his EU counterparts at the General Affairs and External Relations Council on 16 March, and has also spoken to US Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice about developments. My right hon. and noble Friend the Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean, Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, emphasised to Lebanese Foreign Minister Hammoud, when they met on 25 February, the importance that the UK places on compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1559; the implementation of a credible electoral process leading to free and fair elections for the Lebanese National Assembly in line with the Lebanese
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constitution, free from foreign interference; and a full and transparent investigation into the bomb attack in Beirut on 14 February.
Mr. Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what bilateral discussions have taken place between the Government and (a) the United States, (b) the Russian Federation, (c) China and (d) France regarding the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in New York in May. 
Mr. Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions have taken place with the International Atomic Energy Agency regarding the proliferation of nuclear weapons by non-state actors. 
Mr. MacShane: The Government hosted an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Conference in London from 16 to 18 March to discuss the nature of the threat of nuclear terrorism and to take forward the agenda on nuclear security. The United Kingdom, through contacts at meetings such as this in London, through its delegation to the IAEA in Vienna, and through the UK Governor who sits on the IAEA Board of Governors, remains in close touch with all aspects of the IAEA's important work.
Mr. MacShane: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office's (FCO) first Strategic Priority is to achieve a world safer from global terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. We work extensively to convince others to face up to these threats and to help them do so. All such efforts make it harder for terrorists and proliferators to operate and so help reduce the threat from nuclear terrorism.
There are a number of programmes specifically targeted at nuclear terrorismthe principal one being the Global Partnership which aims, among other things, to address the problems of the nuclear legacy in the former Soviet Union. My right hon. and noble Friend the Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean, Minister of State at the FCO, has also been closely involved in the International Atomic Energy Agency International Conference on Nuclear Security held in London last week, which discussed the significant risks to the international community posed by the threat of malicious acts involving nuclear and other radioactive materials and their associated facilities.
Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent changes have been made to the United Kingdom donation to the International Atomic Energy Agency for nuclear materials accountancy and security controls. 
Mr. MacShane: The United Kingdom has been a strong supporter of the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) Nuclear Security Fund since its inception. Most recently my right hon. and noble Friend the Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean, Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, announced at the International Conference for Nuclear Security held in London 1618 March, the donation of a further £350,000 to the Nuclear Security Fund.
In 200304 the UK provided £1.2 million in voluntary support to the IAEA through the UK Safeguards Support Programme. In addition, the UK donated £1.4 million to the agency in support of its Safeguards Information System Replacement Project.
Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the address made on 16 March by the former United States Senator Sam Nunn to the International Conference on Nuclear Security: Global Directions for the Future. 
Mr. MacShane: I warmly welcome the speech made by Senator Nunn to the International Conference on Nuclear Security. Although unable to attend the conference personally, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary met with Senator Nunn on Monday 14 March to discuss these issues in depth.
We share Senator Nunn's assessment of the urgency of this threat. The UK is developing its nuclear security programme under the Global Partnership and has recently announced a contract to undertake an upgrade of physical security at a key Russian Nuclear Research Centre. The contract, to be managed by experts from the British Nuclear Group, will focus on the Nikiet Institute in the centre of Moscow. It is one of Russia's leading nuclear research centres. The project is worth up to £2 million and will focus on the provision of physical protection upgrades on fencing, lighting, CCTV and access control systems. We hope that further such projects will roll out as nuclear security work becomes an increasingly important part of the Global Partnership programmes. Overall, in this financial year the UK will have spent £35.5 million on nuclear safety, security and non-proliferation programmes across the former Soviet Union.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with counterparts in (a) Pakistan and (b) other European countries regarding the passing of nuclear technology from Pakistan to Iran; and if he will make a statement. 
Iran's nuclear programme is a key issue in discussions with a large number of countries, at ministerial and official level. Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan has admitted to having supplied nuclear technology to Iran, and this information is being investigated by the International Atomic Energy Agency as well as by the authorities in a number of countries who continue to investigate the activities of Dr. Khan and his associates. Some of these associates were nationals of European
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countries. It would not be appropriate to comment on matters which are the subject of ongoing criminal investigations.
Ms Munn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the risk posed by Hezbollah to the establishment of stable Palestinian Government in the Palestinian Territories. 
Mr. Mullin: Hezbollah continues to reject the legitimacy of the state of Israel and to support Palestinian groups which reject the Oslo Accord. We are concerned that Hezbollah are in a position to undermine the current efforts being made by President Abbas and the Palestinian Authority to work towards a comprehensive peace in the Middle East.
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