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Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 24 November 2005, Official Report, columns 224546W, on foreign decorations, when he expects the Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals to announce (a) its decision on the Pingat Jasa Malaysia medal and (b) the results of its review of the Government's rules for the accepting and wearing of foreign awards. 
Ian Pearson [holding answer 6 December 2005]: The Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals will be considering the Pingat Jasa Malaysia medal and reviewing certain rules governing the accepting and wearing of foreign awards at its meeting on 7 December. Further consultations may be required before the Committee submits its advice to Her Majesty The Queen. Hon. Members will be informed when decisions have been taken.
Sir Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the Government's policy on the US removal of the military embargo against Indonesia; what representations the Government has made to the US Administration on this matter; and if he will make a statement. 
Ian Pearson: We have noted the United States (US) Government decision on their military relationship with Indonesia. We have not made any representations to the US Administration on this matter.
Mr. Robathan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the total cost was of (a) private security guards and (b) private contractors employed in Iraq by the UK Government in 200405; and if he will make a statement. 
[holding answer 6 December 2005]: In financial year 200405, the total cost requirements for private security guards and private contractors employed in Iraq by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office were £48.9 million and £9.67 million respectively.
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Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether an official in his Department has issued an apology to the Iraqi authorities in relation to the events in Basra on 19 and 20 September. 
Dr. Howells: No apologies have been given to the Iraqi authorities by officials with regard to any aspect of the events of 19 September. The UK and Iraqi authorities have conducted and completed inquiries into the events of 19 September in Basra. A joint statement about the matter was released on 11 October 2005, available at http://news.bbc.co.uk/l/hi/uky4332818.stm. The matter is now closed.
Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of progress in the UN-led talks on the future status of Kosovo; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: On 10 November, the United Nations Security Council endorsed the Secretary-General's appointment of former Finnish President, Martti Ahtisaari, as his Status Envoy for Kosovo. Mr.Ahtisaari has begun his work, visiting Belgrade and Pristina last week. We look to both sides to engage constructively in this process. The British Government will continue to support the Status Envoy. I am placing in the Library of the House a copy of the Contact Group (United States, UK, France, Germany, Italy and Russia together with representatives of the European Union) Guiding Principles. These are there to support the work of the Status Envoy.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list those of his Department's advisory non-departmental public bodies which the Government are required to (a) consult prior to legislative proposals and (b) publish its response to advice from. 
Ian Pearson: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has three advisory non-departmental public bodies (NDPB). They are the Diplomatic Service Appeal Board, The Government Hospitality Advisory Committee for the Purchase of Wine and the Wilton Park Academic Council.
The Government are not required to consult these NDPBs prior to legislative proposals or publish their response to advice from them.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State forForeign and Commonwealth Affairs what assistance the UK is providing to the Government of Liberia to reform and strengthen the (a) justice and (b) civil security structure in Liberia; and if he will make a statement. 
The UK is currently providing no direct support to Liberia on the justice sector. The Department for International Development (DFID) looked into a justice programme, but could not proceed for lack of a
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suitable local partner. Further, there are several other donors present in Monrovia better placed to cover thissector. The UK, however, played a key role in negotiating and getting agreement on the Governance and Economic Management Assistance Programme (GEMAP), which has a justice component. The UK representative in Monrovia is also involved in the Rule of Law Taskforce, and DFID is running a governance programme with an anti-corruption component.
The UK is actively involved in sharing lessons learned from the UK Security Sector Reform (SSR) leadership role in Sierra Leone with the UN and the United States, who are leading on SSR in Liberia. There is also a UK Brigadier seconded to the UN in Liberia to advise on various aspects of SSR.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the level of resources available to UN human rights officials tasked with investigating reports of trial by ordeal in Liberia; and if he will make a statement. 
Ian Pearson: We are aware of recent so-called witchcraft" trials in Grand Cape Mount county. Such worrying issues form part of our regular dialogue with the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), including with their human rights staff. UNMIL are not only following closely and attending some of the hearings, but they are also carrying out civic education with local communities. The UK Political Officer in Monroviathe sole Government representative in Liberiahas discussed the trials with UNMIL human rights staff, both in Monrovia and during a visit to the county where the activity is centred, in November 2005.
Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Israeli authorities regarding the lifting of restrictions in Palestine in line with the Roadmap in preparation for the legislative elections scheduled for 25 January 2006. 
Dr. Howells: We, along with our EU partners, have emphasised to the Israeli Government the need to co-operate fully with the Palestinian authority in facilitating the preparation and conduct of the elections, especially to ensure the freedom of movement of all election officials, candidates, campaigners and voters.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what assessment his Department has made of the (a) whereabouts, (b) medical condition and (c) reason and conditions of detention of Sanjar Umarov; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what discussions (a) he, (b) Ministers of his Department and (c) other members and representatives of the UK Government have had with members and representatives of the government of Uzbekistan concerning the (i) arrest and (ii) detention of Sanjar Umarov on 22 October 2005; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: Sanjar Umarov was detained on 22 October 2005. He is being held in solitary confinement in Tashkent City Prison on charges of large scale embezzlement related to his business affairs. TheProsecutor General's Office has completed its preliminary investigation into Mr. Umarov's affairs and has submitted it to the Supreme Economic Court.
Mr. Umarov's lawyer was first able to visit on 26 October 2005. He reported that Mr. Umarov was naked in his cell and incoherent. On subsequent visits Mr. Umarov has been able to talk to his lawyer in the presence of the investigation team. He has requested medical treatment for high blood pressure but has not had an independent medical assessment to date.
Our ambassador in Tashkent, David Moran, raised Mr. Umarov's case with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 24 October 2005 and again with Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Mustafayev on 26 October 2005. We issued a Presidency statement on 25 October 2005 calling on the Uzbek authorities to allow Mr. Umarov access to his lawyer and his family and to treat him in accordance with international standards. The statement can be found at:
http://www.eu2005.gov.uk/servlet/Front?pagename= OpenMarket/Xcelerate/ShowPage&c=Page&cid= l107293561746&a=KArticle&aid=l129042521613&date= 2005-l025.
Mr. Moran discussed Umarov's case with Foreign Minister Ganiev on 2, 10 and 11 November 2005.
On 8 November 2005, the EU issued a declaration on the human rights situation in Uzbekistan, which referred to Umarov's detention and urgently requested the Uzbek authorities to allow an independent assessment of Mr. Umarov's condition. The declaration, which can be found at: http://www.eu2005.gov.uk/servlct/Front?pagename=OpenMarket/Xcelerate/ShowPage&c= Page&cid=l107293561746&a=KArticle&aid= l130675480072&date=2005-l108, was delivered to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by diplomatic note.
Our Embassy in Tashkent remains in close touch with Umarov's family and lawyer.
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