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Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the products associated with the EU presidency logo developed by his Department; how many of each were produced; and what the cost was of the production of each. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: Member states holding the presidency normally commission a range of promotional goods bearing the presidency logo. The UK did the same. The items were pin-chased by Government Departments and overseas posts for public diplomacy use in connection with a wide range of Government events and activities.
The overall quantities commissioned were determined in response to demand from across Government. No extra money was made available to posts to cover this expenditure and it was met by reallocating existing resources. The largest item in terms of expenditure was stationery.
|Stationery for use at presidency meetings and events||539,000|
|Small gifts for use at presidency events (mugs, umbrellas, bags etc)||251,000|
|Clothing (ties, scarves, lapel pins etc)||243,000|
|Materials for dressing venues for presidency events (logo stands etc)||32,000|
Mr. Douglas Alexander:
My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary set out the work programme for the UK presidency in detail in the White Paper Prospects for the EU in 2005" (Cmnd 6611) presented to the House on 30 June 2005. A new White Paper will follow in the new year. We have made progress in a number of areas, including the historic decision to open accession negotiations with Turkey and Croatia on 3 October 2005. Last month we achieved significant reform of the EU sugar regime. And we continue to work on a range of issues from the fight against terrorism to the future financing of the EU.
20 Dec 2005 : Column 2847W
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many meetings of the EC-United States of America Joint Committee have taken place during the UK presidency of the EU; who presided over each meeting; what other UK representatives were present; what provision was made for representation of the devolved governments; and if he will make a statement. 
Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions the Government has had with the Government of Argentina about (a) the lifting of economic sanctions against the Falkland Islands and (b) permitting charter flights to the Falkland Islands; and if he will make a statement. 
We would like to see an agreement on further flights between the Falklands and mainland South America but this must be on terms acceptable to all sides. So far, we have not reached an agreed basis for starting discussion. The UK has made it clear to Argentina that we are prepared to enter into discussions, on the understanding that any future arrangements must be acceptable to the Falkland Islanders and that any such discussions would need to take place against the backdrop of charter flight authorisations proceeding normally.
Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the effect of recent economic development measures on the Falkland Islands; what steps have been taken to improve the economic viability of the Falkland Islands; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: The management of the economy of the Falkland Islands is the responsibility of the Falkland Island Government. With the exception of Defence costs, the Islands are fully economically self-sufficient. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office contribution is limited to small grants for individual projects from the economic diversification programme budget.
Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the prospect of regular charter flights to the Falkland Islands from Chile. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander:
We would like to see an agreement on further flights between the Falklands and mainland South America but this must be on terms acceptable to all sides. So far, we have not reached an agreed basis for starting discussion.
20 Dec 2005 : Column 2848W
Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions his Department has had with the Ministry of Defence about establishing a commercial element to the military air-bridge to the Falkland Islands; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office regularly discuss a full range of Falkland Islands issues with the Ministry of Defence. The military air-bridge forms part of these discussions, but so far the establishment of a commercial element has not been discussed.
Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of Statefor Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether it is his Department's policy to bring about the commercialisation of the Ministry of Defence air-bridge to the Falkland Islands. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: The military air-bridge has been part of discussions between the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Ministry of Defence, but so far the establishment of a commercial element has not been part of these discussions. No policy decisions have been made on the subject.
Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the Falkland Islands Government about establishing a commercial northbound air link to the Falkland Islands avoiding Latin America in conjunction with the Ministry of Defence. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: No recent discussions have taken place with the Falkland Islands Government on the subject of commercialisation of the military air-bridge. The Falkland Islands have recently submitted a paper on this on which we plan to hold discussions with them and other stakeholders in the new year.
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much money was allocated to Gibraltar from the Overseas Development Fund in each of the last five years; and what proportion of this money was used to pay the pensions of Spanish citizens affected by the closure of the border with Gibraltar. 
Dr. Howells: The Government have made clear that it regards the circumstances under which detainees continue to be held in Guantanamo as unacceptable. The United States (US) Government knows our views. Since the release of the last British nationals from Guantanamo in January 2005, we have continued to raise Guantanamo Bay with the US authorities. We will continue to raise our concerns at Ministerial and official level and to work with the US authorities to resolve the issues of concern to us.
It is important to remember, however, the circumstances which led to Guantanamo Bay. Nearly 3,000 people were killed during the terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001. Valuable information has been gained from detainees at Guantanamo Bay which has helped the international community in the fight against terrorism.
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