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Departmental Estate

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what (a) land and (b) property his Department (i) owns and (ii) rents in each constituency; and if he will make a statement. [33255]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has the following land and property in the UK:
Land/propertyType of ownershipConstituency
Main Building (King Charles Street)OwnedCities of London and Westminster
Old Admiralty BuildingOwnedCities of London and Westminster
Carlton GardensRentedCities of London and Westminster
Lancaster HouseRentedCities of London and Westminster
Albert Embankment (1 floor)RentedVauxhall
Apollo House (5 floors)RentedCroydon Central
Hanslope Park (Land and Property)OwnedNorth East Milton Keynes

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Common Agricultural Policy

Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the French Government regarding reform of the Common Agricultural Policy. [33006]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: As my right hon. Friend, the Foreign Secretary, made clear to the House on 1 November, we speak regularly to our French counterparts, as we do with all EU member states, on the way to take forward the negotiations on the EU's budget for 2007–13, including the issue of Common Agricultural Policy reform.

Departmental Expenditure

Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much the Department and its agencies have spent on (a) the design and production of new logos and (b) employing external (i) public relations and (ii) graphic design agencies in each year since 2000, broken down by project. [33218]

Ian Pearson: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has spent £18,450 on the production of new logos. We have not employed any external public relations agencies and have spent the following on associated external graphic design agencies since 2000:
2002TGi logo350
2003TGi logo700
Genie Worldwide logo
2004Temporary Passports logo
Halo logo (widermarkets work for Her Majesty's
Customs and Excise (HMCE)
Excise (HMCE)
CTE logo5,250
Biometrics logo
Wider Markets logo
Your World
Leadership Conference
2005Mitre logo (wider-markets work for HMCE)
Pluto logo (wider-markets work for HMCE)
Amigo logo (wider-markets work for HMCE)
Metro2 logo (widermarkets work for HMCE)
Talon logo (widermarkets work for HMCE)12,150
Future Firecrest logo
Gypsy logo
Better World
Antarctic logo

Departmental Staff

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many staff in his Department have been relocated into London and the South East in each of the last five years for which records are available. [31778]

Ian Pearson: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has not relocated any staff into London and the South East in the past five years.
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Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what steps he (a) is taking and (b) has taken towards stopping the persecution of Christians in Eritrea; [33104]

(2) what representations he has received on the persecution of Christians in Eritrea. [33105]

Ian Pearson: We have received various representations, including from members of the public, hon. Members, noble Lords and religious organisations.

We raise the issue of religious freedom with the Eritrean Government regularly, both bilaterally and with our European partners.

Most recently, my noble Friend the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister for Africa (Lord Triesman of Tottenham), raised our concerns with the Eritrean ambassador on 28 July and again on 24 October, and in a letter to President Isaias Afwerki on 6 October.

EU Budget

Mr. Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been made under the UK presidency of the EU to agree a new budget for the EU. [32456]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Coventry, South (Mr. Cunningham) on 28 November 2005, Official Report, column 157W.


Mark Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the progress of talks with Iran about that country's nuclear ambitions. [32448]

Dr. Howells: There are no negotiations at present between the E3/EU and Iran. On 5 August 2005, the E3/EU presented a comprehensive proposal for long term arrangements intended to give the international community objective guarantees that Iran's nuclear programme was exclusively for peaceful purposes, while equally providing firm guarantees on nuclear, technological and economic co-operation and firm commitments on security issues. Regrettably, Iran rejected this proposal and resumed uranium conversion activities on 8 August 2005, in violation of the framework for talks it had agreed with the E3/EU. The resolution adopted by the International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors on 24 September and thediscussion at the board's meeting on 24 November have underlined that questions about Iran's nuclear programme remain unresolved. The Secretary-General of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, Ali Larijani, wrote to the E3/EU on 6 November expressing Iran's interest in resuming talks. In their reply on 27 November, E3 Foreign Ministers and EU High Representative, Javier Solana, expressed the hope that Iran would meet the expectations of the international community and help create conditions that would enable talks to resume. They outlined the European sides willingness to meet to see if a basis for the resumption of negotiations can be agreed.
2 Dec 2005 : Column 877W

Mr. Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of EU policy on Iran and its nuclear activities. [32660]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: Iran's nuclear programme continues to be of deep concern to the whole international community. This was highlighted in the resolution adopted by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) board of governors on 24 September 2005 and at the Board's most recent meeting on 24 November. Since 2003, the UK, France and Germany, with the support of the EU high representative, Javier Solana, have pursued a diplomatic solution, that would give Iran an opportunity to address international concerns and provide objective guarantees that its nuclear programme is solely for peaceful purposes. These efforts have helped raise international awareness of Iran's activities and have enjoyed increasing support. But, although we have seen limited progress in some areas, the steps taken so far by Iran fall far short of what is required. The E3/EU will continue to engage closely with key partners including Russia, the USA, EU member states and members of the IAEA board of governors to maintain the pressure on Iran to address the international community's concerns.


Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what measures arein place to protect his Department's employees in Iraq. [32783]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: Our staff in Iraq are housed in office and residential accommodation which has been strengthened in line with the demands of the current security situation. All such accommodation is located within protected compounds guarded by armed personnel from a private security company.

All of our staff are issued with body armour and helmets and attend a surviving hostile regions course before deployment.

To ensure that our staff are safe when travelling, they are only allowed to travel by air with the Royal Air Force. Staff must travel by road in armoured vehicles, accompanied at all times by armed personnel from another private security company.

These (protective security) measures are regularly reviewed by local security managers and a London based senior security adviser who visits Iraq on a regular basis.

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