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EU Constitution

Mr. Davidson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 23 March 2005, Official Report, column 891W, whether the Government have requested that (a) the European Parliament and (b) other
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institutions of the European Union do not intervene or fund activities in the referendum on the EU Constitution. [224993]

Mr. MacShane: The European Parliament (EP) and European Commission have a legitimate role in the provision of objective and factual information on the EU and its activities. This role must of course respect the constitutional and democratic processes of the member states. The Government have been in contact with the EP and the Commission about the provision of information on the EU Constitutional Treaty, including in relation to the referendum, and will continue to liaise with them on these issues.

European Funding

Mr. Davidson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list projects for which the Department has provided joint funding with the European Commission and other institutions of the European Union during the past five financial years; and what funding is planned for such projects in this financial year [221375]

Mr. MacShane: [pursuant to the reply on 4 April 2005, Official Report, c. 1089–90W]: My answer of 4 April to the hon. Member was incorrect. The correct answer should read as follows:

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has worked together with various European institutions on a number of projects in the last five years.

In October 2003, the FCO and European Commission jointly organised the Europe United" football tournament as part of the plans to celebrate EU enlargement. In early 2004 the FCO produced with Commission support booklets explaining the benefits of EU enlargement that were sent to the nine English regions and the devolved administrations. On 24 April 2004, there was Europe Day—Meet the Neighbours"—a jointly organised FCO-Commission project which celebrated EU enlargement.

The European Parliament funded jointly with the FCO a number of Wilton Park conferences: The European Union's Strategic Priorities (14–16 September 2000); Reforming the Governance of the European Union: Towards an ever closer EU? (22–24 October 2001); How Can Parliamentarians Best Re-Engage the Public? (9–12 June 2003); The Future of Europe: What kind of Institutional and Security arrangements do we want (September 2002). In addition, the European Parliament hired an Exhibition Space at the Europe Day.

The FCO and EU institutions also jointly fund a number of development projects outside the UK.

No jointly-funded projects are currently planned for this year, with the exception of FCO development projects.


Tony Lloyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what assessment he has made of the human rights situation in Guatemala since the election of President Oscar Berger; [224889]
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(2) what representations have been made to the government of Guatemala regarding the 1996 Peace Accords concerning human rights and commitments made to the international community at the 2003 Consultative Group meeting. [224890]

Mr. Rammell: When I visited Guatemala in January 2004 I stressed the importance of human rights issues with the new Vice President and other members of the government. We and our EU partners continue to encourage the Guatemalan government to implement in full the 1996 Peace Accords. Our Embassy follows the human rights situation closely and enjoys close relations with human rights organisations in Guatemala. We are presently supporting projects that are seeking to bring to justice the perpetrators of human rights abuses as well as promoting reconciliation.

Although Guatemala's civil war ended in 1996, serious questions about respect for human rights in Guatemala remain. However, we have noted the positive efforts President Berger has made since his inauguration on 14 January 2004 to tackle human rights problems in Guatemala. His first public act was to declare his commitment to the 1996 Guatemalan Peace Accords and on 25 February 2004 he announced the establishment of a new national commission to oversee their implementation. These include undertakings to compensate the surviving family members of massacres that took place during the conflict. President Berger has also appointed a respected human rights campaigner, Frank la Rue, to his Cabinet as the Head of the Presidential Commission on Human Rights.

Iain Hook

Mr. Kilfoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has provided to the BBC about the shooting of Iain Hook by the Israeli Defence Force in Jenin. [224904]

Mr. Mullin: This was a high-profile case and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Press Office may well have handled requests for information from the BBC. The Press Office does not, however, keep records of all contact with the media and we cannot therefore confirm what information was provided to the BBC.

Mr. Kilfoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Israeli government about the shooting of Iain Hook in Jenin. [224905]

Mr. Mullin: Representations were made to the Israeli Government at the highest level about the shooting of lain Hook. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary spoke to the Israeli Foreign Minister on 22 November 2002 and my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister raised it with Israeli Prime Minister Sharon on 29 November 2002.

Mr. Kilfoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what contribution he has made to United Nations inquiries into the shooting of Iain Hook in Jenin. [224906]

Mr. Mullin: The United Nations conducted their own independent investigation into the death of lain Hook. We liaised with all appropriate authorities on behalf of
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the Hook family, including the United Nations and the Israeli Government, in trying to secure a satisfactory resolution to the case.

Illegal Drugs

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the total value was of UK aid to supplier countries donated with the specific intention of eradicating the cultivation of illegal drugs in each of the last 20 years; and to which countries such aid was given. [223706]

Mr. Rammell: The total value of UK aid to Afghanistan on eradication in financial year 2004–05 was £2,695,008. Various options for eradication aid are being worked up for 2006 and a decision will be taken in June 2005.

In 1994 the UK supplied two helicopters for use by the Pakistani anti-narcotics force (ANF) to assist with opium poppy eradication and other operational counter narcotics activity in Pakistan. Figures are not immediately available for the cost of the purchase of the helicopters. Since 1994, we have supported the ANF to the sum of approximately £1.4 million to help service and maintain the aircraft for use for the same purposes.


Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations the Government have made to the Iranian Government on human rights. [224915]

Mr. Rammell: Promoting human rights is an important element of UK and EU policy towards Iran. We press the Iranian authorities frequently on general issues and on individual cases of particular concern. In recent months, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary, my right hon. and noble Friend the Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean, Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and I have all discussed human rights with the Iranian ambassador in London. I did so on 7 February. With our support, EU representatives called on the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 24 November and 21 December 2004 to discuss specific cases. Recent representations have focused on the sentencing of juvenile offenders, the rights of religious minorities and freedom of expression.

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on what occasions and for what purpose he has visited Iran in the last two years; whom he met on each occasion; and what matters were discussed. [224920]

Mr. Rammell: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has visited Iran twice in the last two years. In June 2003, he met President Khatami; the Foreign Minister, Dr Kharrazi; and the Secretary General of the Supreme National Security Council, Dr Rouhani. The subjects discussed included UK/Iran bilateral issues, Iran's nuclear programme, terrorism and Iraq. In October 2003, my right hon. Friend visited Iran with his French and German colleagues to discuss Iran's nuclear programme. He again met President Khatami, DrKharrazi and Dr Rouhani.
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