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Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what methods of assessment of (a) literacy and (b) numeracy skills are used as part of the recruitment process by employees of his Department. 
Mr. Straw: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 27 October 2005, Official Report, columns 50708W. Examples of the ability tests used during the recruitment process are available from Capita Recruitment Agency at www.productinfo@.capita.co.uk.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the recent shootings in Addis Ababa; and what action he has taken to express the UK's concern to the Ethiopian authorities. 
Ian Pearson: We are extremely concerned about the outbreaks of violence in Ethiopia since 1 November and are monitoring events closely. There have been a number of deaths and injuries and we offer our sincere condolences to the families of the victims. We deplore all types of violence whether by security forces or demonstrators. We have called on all sides to exercise maximum restraint, to desist from confrontation and violence and to respect the laws of Ethiopia.
My noble Lord the Minister for Africa (Lord Triesman of Tottenham) summoned the Ethiopian Charge d'Affaires on 1 November to underline the Government's concerns, including at the arrest of Opposition leaders and some civil society representatives. We have urged that all those not to be charged should be released immediately. We have also urged that all detainees should have access to due legal process and the protection afforded by the Constitution. The British Ambassador in Addis Ababa made the same points to the Ethiopian Foreign Minister on 2 November and the Prime Minister on 3 November.
Ian Pearson: An estimate for the organisational costs of the G8 Summit of £12.1 million has been made available on the G8 website at www.g8.gov.uk. A breakdown of this figure for the organisational costs of the Gleneagles Summit is nearly ready for publication. The process has been delayed to allow some suppliers to submit final invoices.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to
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the Answer of 1 November 2005, Official Report, column 954W, on Holy See, why no advert inviting applications for the post of UK Ambassador to the Holy See was published in any national paper of Scotland. 
Mr. Binley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what UK policy is towards Iran; and what changes have been made as a consequence of the deaths of British soldiers in which the Government said there was Iranian involvement. 
Dr. Howells: We have serious concerns about Iran's policies in a number of areas. With other members of the United Nations Security Council, we have condemned President Ahmadinejad's remarks on 26 October about Israel.
The UK's policy towards Iran is one of critical engagement. We aim to support reform in Iran where possible, and at the same time to encourage Iran to address serious international concerns about its policies in areas such as its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, human rights, and its approach towards terrorism and the Middle East Peace Process.
The nature of some explosive devices used against British troops and others in Iraq suggests a connection with elements linked to Iran or with Lebanese Hizbollah, which has close ties to Iran. We continue to investigate. We have pressed the Iranian authorities on many occasions to play a constructive role in Iraq, and cut their links to armed groups. We have called on Iran to do more to live up to its public promises to improve border security, fight terrorism and not to interfere in Iraq's internal affairs.
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Mr. Scott: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations are being made to the Iranian Government about the statement made by its President on the right of the state of Israel to exist. 
We summoned the Iranian Charge" d'affaires on 27 October to protest. On the same day, we issued a statement on behalf of European Union Heads of Government, which condemned the comments in the strongest terms. The statement emphasised that calls for violence, and for the destruction of any state, are manifestly inconsistent with any claim to be a mature and responsible member of the international community.
Dr. Howells: The European Union has condemned in the strongest terms the remarks about Israel attributed to President Ahmadinejad. We have also summoned the Iranian Charge" d'Affaires in London to protest.
The UK's policy towards Iran remains one of critical engagement. We aim to support reform in Iran where possible, and at the same time to encourage Iran to address serious international concerns about its policies in areas such as its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, human rights, and its approach towards terrorism and the Middle East Peace Process.
Mr. Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what evidence he has received of Iranian involvement in Iraqi resistance groups operating in the British sector of Iraq. 
Dr. Howells: As my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has said, the nature of some explosive devices used, including against British troops, leads us either to Iranian elements or to Lebanese Hezbollah, which has very close links with Iran's Revolutionary Guards. We are unable to provide further details as to do so could prejudice the capability, effectiveness, and security of Iraqi, UK and other coalition armed forces.
Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received on the replacement of stored locally grown seeds traditionally used by Iraqi farmers by annually licensed genetically modified seeds imported from the US; and if he will make a statement. 
Ministers have received letters from hon. Members in recent months on behalf of constituents concerned about the impact on Iraqi farmers of the Coalition Provisional Authority's Order no. 81. Other than this correspondence, Ministers have received no representations on the replacement of locally grown seeds in Iraq by genetically modified seeds, imported from the US or elsewhere.
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Order 81 concerns the registration and protection of intellectual property rights in new plant varieties. The Order was the subject of consultation and co-ordination with the Iraqi Governing Council, and was consistent with the needs identified by the United Nations for the development of Iraq and its transition from a centrally planned to a market-based economy.
This Order has no effect on existing breeds of plants, such as those used by most Iraqi farmers. It should not therefore affect the ability of Iraqi farmers to save seeds from traditional sources. Farmers will also continue to have a choice of sources for their seed supply, saving their own seeds of traditional and unprotected varieties, or buying seeds which are subject to patent or plant variety rights protection.
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