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Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list (a) the special advisers in his Department, (b) their specific areas of expertise and (c) the total cost of employing them in the latest year for which figures are available. 
On costs, I refer the hon. Member to the reply my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister gave to my hon. Friend the Member for St. Helens, North (Mr. Watts) on 22 July 2004, Official Report, columns 46670W.
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Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the ability of UK embassies and consulates to provide assistance to British citizens stranded overseas in the event of a major airline failure. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: British embassies, consulates and high commissions overseas have up to date plans for helping British citizens affected by all types of consular emergency. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office strongly recommends that UK citizens travelling abroad take out comprehensive travel insurance.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport is currently considering the issue of financial protection for air travellers, including the possibility of extending statutory protection to all UK-originating flights.
Mr. Arbuthnot: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the Government of Sudan about British business interests in Sudan; and if he will make a statement. 
Ian Pearson: Foreign and Commonwealth Office Ministers have had no recent discussions with the Government of Sudan on British business interests. We do, however, make clear to the Government of Sudan that progress in implementing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, a resolution to the conflict in Darfur, greater transparency in business dealings and a stable legal environment would be essential to encourage investment.
We monitor developments in Tibet closely and regularly raise Tibet-related issues with the Chinese Government, including during our biannual UK/China Human Rights Dialogue, the last round of which was held in London on 6 June 2005. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister raised Tibet with Chinese Premier, Wen Jiabao during the latter's visit to the UK in May 2004; my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary raised the case of a Tibetan prisoner during his trip to China in January 2005; and my noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Lord Triesman of Tottenham) raised Tibet at the dialogue in June. We have made clear to the Chinese authorities that a long-term, legitimate and peaceful solution to the Tibet issue can be found only through dialogue and continue to urge them to engage with the Dalai Lama and his representatives.
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Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the prospects for free and fair elections in Uganda, with particular reference to (a) the 1997 Movement Act, (b) the President's appointed Electoral Commission, (c) the state-funded Movement Secretariat, (d) funding for the opposition; and if he will make a statement. 
Ian Pearson: To enable the elections due in March 2006 to be free and fair under a multi-party system, many legislative changes are needed. We have received assurances from the Ugandan Foreign Minister that these will be in place by the end of August 2005. To help ensure that the elections are properly managed we, together with other development partners in Uganda, are contributing to a basket fund to support the work of the Electoral Commission. We are aware of the constraints under which opposition parties are working, and have provided all the major parties with some support for capacity building. Meanwhile, we regularly urge the Government of Uganda to ensure that a level playing field for all parties is established in good time before the elections. On 24 June the Ugandan Foreign Minister told our officials that state funding will cease as soon as a multi-party system of Government is adopted.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Ugandan authorities regarding the return of (a) Dr. Kizza Besigye and (b) Dr. Apollo Milton Obote; and if he will make a statement. 
Ian Pearson: We have had no discussions with the Ugandan authorities specifically about the return to Uganda of Dr. Kizza Besigye or Dr. Apollo Milton Obote. However, we do regularly discuss with Ugandan Ministers and officials issues of political rights. We make clear the importance of political change in Uganda carrying the genuine confidence of the people and their representatives, respecting the rule of law and institutions of governance, and being free from physical intimidation or manipulation.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions (a) he and (b) his officials have had with the Ugandan authorities regarding (i) the cost of the June referendum and (ii) the decision by the Forum for Democratic Change to boycott the referendum; and if he will make a statement. 
Our officials in Kampala have frequently highlighted in discussions with the Ugandan authorities our concerns about the high monetary and time costs of the referendum in relation to alternative options. However, following the Government of Uganda's decision to hold a referendum, we have consistently urged all opposition parties, including the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), to take part, most recently in a meeting on 24 June. We are concerned that their decision to boycott the referendum risks undermining the democratic process, and will continue to press them to reverse this decision.
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Ian Pearson: We have redoubled our efforts to increase international pressure on Mugabe, raising Zimbabwe in capitals across Africa. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary on 22 June challenged all African Governments to address what is happening. We have also raised the issue with the UN Secretary-General and the UN Commissioner for Human Rights. We welcome Kofi Annan's decision to send a Special Envoy to Zimbabwe, and look forward to his report.
Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations the Government are making to the Zimbabwean Government regarding the recent ZANU-PF slum clearances. 
Ian Pearson: We have made our condemnation of recent events in Zimbabwe clear. On 13 June my noble Friend the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Minister for Africa (Lord Triesman of Tottenham) summoned the Zimbabwean charge" d'affaires to the FCO to express the Government's outrage at the recent crackdown which has rendered hundreds of thousands homeless. Our ambassador in Harare has protested directly to both the Zimbabwean Vice President and the Minister of National Security. We have also raised our concerns with other African Governments and urged them to make their own representations to the government of Zimbabwe.
Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if the Government will make representations for Operation Murabatsvina to be discussed at the African Union Summit in Libya. 
Ian Pearson: The agenda for the African Union Summit is a matter for the African Union. But we have made clear our hope that African governments will address the situation in Zimbabwe. My noble Friend the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister for Africa (Lord Triesman of Tottenham) and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Development (Hilary Benn) will attend the summit on 4and 5 July and will make our views clear.
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