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Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on how many occasions in the last 30 years a country has had its Head of State invited to make a state visit to the UK within 10 years of the previous visit. 
Mr. Straw: There are six occasions of which I am aware. These were state visits by successive Heads of State of Nigeria in 1981 and 1989, France in 1976 and 1984, Saudi Arabia in 1981 and 1987, Norway in 1988 and 1994, South Africa in 1996 and 2001 and China in 1999 and 2005.
Peter Law: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when each decree made by the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq expires; and if he will arrange for the texts of the decrees to be (a) placed in the Library and (b) posted on his Department's website. 
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will call on the Israeli Government to co-operate with the International Atomic Energy Agency in an inspection programme of all appropriate sites in Israel. 
Dr. Howells: The Government take appropriate opportunities to discuss all aspects of non- proliferation with representatives of the Israeli Government. We have, on a number of occasions, called on Israel to accede to the Nuclear Non- Proliferation treaty, and to conclude a full scope safeguards agreement and additional protocol with the International Atomic Energy Agency,
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will support a programme of inspection, verification and monitoring of any stocks of chemical and biological weapons held by (a) Israel and (b) other states in the middle east. 
Dr. Howells: The United Kingdom strongly supports the establishment of a middle east zone free of weapons of mass destruction, and their delivery systems, as set out in the Barcelona Declaration of 1995.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the Government are taking to help British citizens to find information on the whereabouts of their relatives who may have been affected by the earthquake in South Asia. 
Since the devastating earthquake in Pakistan on 8 October, the Government have taken a number of measures to assist British citizens trying to find information of their relatives' whereabouts. A 24 hour helpline was set up at the British high commission in Islamabad, a reception desk was set up at Islamabad airport that was staffed for all incoming international flights until 17 October and a consular team was despatched to Muzaffarabad on 9 October to liaise with British Nationals and local authorities in the worst affected areas. A consular presence was maintained in Muzaffarabad until 15 October. Since then our Honorary Consul, resident at Mirpur, together with consular staff at the British High Commission in Islamabad have continued to pursue any missing person cases with local authorities.
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Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 12 September 2005 to the hon. Member for Birmingham, Selly Oak (Lynne Jones), Official Report, column 2414W, on visas, what assessment he has made of the reasons for the increased refusal rate between December 2004 and February 2005. 
Kate Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many officials from his Department visited Zimbabwe in the summer to report on conditions in that country for returned failed asylum seekers. 
Dr. Howells: A team of three Home Office and two Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials visited Harare between 4 and 10 September. The team was concerned with the issue of failed asylum seekers returned to Zimbabwe from the UK.
Mr. Thomas: The bulk of DFID recruitment is for advisory, specialist or senior managerial roles. A pre-requisite for these posts is a university education and relevant degree. New recruits to these roles normally undergo a competence based recruitment assessment. The literacy and numeracy of new recruits to junior administrative roles is tested using standard short answer tests.
I refer the Member for Romford to the figures contained in the annual report "Analysis of Sickness Absence in the Civil Service" published by the Cabinet Office. Table A of the report gives details of both the average working days absence per staff year and the number of staff years on which that calculation is based. The most recent report for the calendar year 2003 was published on 1 November 2004, copies of which are available in the Library. This report and those for 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002 are available on the Cabinet Office
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website at: http://www.civilservice.gov.uk/management _of_the_civil_service/conditions_of_service/occupation al health/publications/index.asp
Mr. Thomas: DFID assesses literacy and numeracy skills as part of its recruitment processes. It also undertakes a range of activities to promote the maintenance and development of literacy and numeracy skills, examples of which are list as follows:
DFID has developed "brush up your skills" internal website pages. These provide learning tools, such as quizzes, to help staff assess their literacy and numeracy skills, as well as links to external providers of learning support on basic skills. Background information on Skills for Life and DFID's skills development plan can also be accessed on this site.
DFID procurement processes have assessment criteria to ensure all contractors have the relevant skills at the appropriate level for the contract. The vast majority of these are advanced beyond basic numeracy and literacy skills.
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