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Mr. Straw: The information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Annual expenditure on external consultants is published in the Department's Annual Reports, copies of which are in the Library of the House. The vast majority of the work undertaken for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office by consultants was associated with our major Information Communication Technology and Estate construction programmes.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been made towards encouraging an end to impunity for those committing attacks against humanitarian workers in Darfur. 
Ian Pearson: We condemn the recent attacks against humanitarian workers in Darfur. Many of these attacks appear to be the result of opportunistic banditry and general lawlessness. The African Union mission in Darfur has made a positive impact on security in the areas in which it has deployed and we fully support its expansion as the best way of addressing the security situation in Darfur. We continue to make clear to the Government of Sudan that it is their responsibility to provide security for all their people, and to actively pursue those who breach the law. We have made clear to all parties that attacks against humanitarian workers are in violation of international humanitarian law and it is imperative that those responsible are brought to justice. UN Security Council Resolution 1591, adopted on 29 March, allows for sanctions to be brought against those who commit violations of international humanitarian or human rights law or other atrocities. And Resolution 1593, which we sponsored on 31 March, referred the situation in Darfur to the International Criminal Court. Both these Resolutions provide a means towards addressing the impunity which has been prevalent in Darfur to date; we will follow their impact closely.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of reports that the Government of Sudan continues to arm and supply the Janjaweed forces in Darfur. 
The report of the International Commission of Inquiry stated that, in the past, the Government of Sudan has armed and operated in close
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co-ordination with a number of militias in Darfur. The latest report by the UN Secretary-General states that the Government of Sudan has made some progress in reining in its allied militias, but has failed to prevent continuing acts of banditry and attacks on civilians by other armed groups. We continue to make clear to the Government of Sudan that it bears the primary responsibility for security in Darfur, and that it must rein in and neutralise these armed militias, as it committed to doing in the Abuja Security Protocol.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the impact of the UN Security Council's referral of the situation in Darfur to the International Criminal Court upon the behaviour of the Government of Sudan. 
Ian Pearson: The Government of Sudan appear to be taking the referral of the situation in Darfur to the International Criminal Court (ICC) seriously. Since UN Security Council Resolution 1593 referred the situation in Darfur to the International Criminal Court on 31 March, the UN Secretary-General has concluded, in his monthly report on the situation in Darfur in April, that there were no incidents of regular Government forces attacking either rebel groups or civilians, and that they had made no hostile use of aircraft. We understand that the Government have established a legal committee to study how it can co-operate with the ICC. We continue to press the Government, and all parties in Sudan, to address the problems within their own judicial system; to co-operate fully with the ICC; and to ensure that those responsible for crimes in Darfur are brought to justice.
Ian Pearson: The seasonal movement of cattle along established migratory routes is traditionally a cause of heightened tensions and insecurity in Darfur. The UN reports that both the Government of Sudan and the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army are making efforts to address the issue of migration and we understand that the Government of Sudan has increased the presence of Sudanese armed forces and police in and around the migration routes. There are no reports of trouble arising from the increased force presence and herders appear to be using the migration routes without problem so far.
At its 28 April meeting, the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council decided to expand its monitoring mission in Darfur to over 7,700 personnel, including 1,560 civilian police. We welcome this decision, and have made clear our willingness to support the AU in undertaking it. The AU plans to carry out a staged deployment into all eight sectors, with a view to full deployment by the end of September.
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Ian Pearson: There are currently over 2,500 African Union personnel deployed in Darfur, out of a planned total of 3,320. The majority of the shortfall is in numbers of civilian police. We are working to support the African Union in getting this phase of the mission deployed and fully operational as quickly as possible, ahead of the planned expansion to over 7,700 personnel by the end of September.
Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had on the lifting of import duties on goods exported to other parts of the EU from Northern Cyprus; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary's recent discussions on trade with north Cyprus have been in the context of the determination, as set out by EU Foreign Ministers at the General Affairs and External Relations Council on 26 April 2004, to end the isolation of the Turkish Cypriot community.
This commitment is embodied in two proposed regulations. The first would enable the disbursal of €259 million aid for north Cyprus. The second would enable preferential direct trade between north Cyprus and the rest of the EU. The Government discusses these proposals regularly at senior official level with EU partners, the Commission and parties on the island, and the Foreign Secretary last discussed ending the isolation of the north with the Turkish Foreign Minister in March. The EU has yet to reach agreement on these regulations.
The Government believe that direct trade will reduce the economic disparity between the north and south of the island and will help the Turkish Cypriots to raise standards towards EU norms. Narrowing the economic divide between the north and south will remove a major obstacle to a future settlement to the Cyprus problem. We therefore call upon all EU partners and the Commission to co-operate to find a way to fulfil the EU's commitment to end the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots.
Ian Pearson: A regional Heads of State Summit on Darfur held in Libya on 1617 May announced that the talks would restart in Abuja by 1 June. However, the rebels were not present at that summit, and their agreement to this date is not yet clear. We have made regular representations to the Government of Sudan about the need to engage fully and at a high level at the next round of the Abuja peace talks. We continue to press the Government on the need to fully abide by their commitments under the existing Abuja agreements. A UK representative will attend the talks and offer support to the African Union mediators.
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