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Mr. Douglas Alexander [holding answer 20 January 2006]: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, in consultation with the Ministry of Defence will consider candidates to succeed Sir Francis Richards as Governor of Gibraltar.
In keeping with the commitment made by my noble Friend Baroness Amos, the then Foreign and Commonwealth Office Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, at the Overseas Territories Consultative Council in September 2002, the Chief Minister of Gibraltar will be involved in the consultation process.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the progress of talks on the transfer of powers from the Governor of Gibraltar and the UK Government to the Gibraltar Government. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander [holding answer 20 January 2006]: The Chief Minister of Gibraltar wrote to my right. hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary in December 2003 formally tabling proposals for the reform of the 1969 Gibraltar Constitution. These proposals have been considered very carefully and have been the subject of two rounds of discussion between officials and a cross-party Gibraltar delegation, led by the Chief Minister. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary recently met the Chief Minister to discuss a number of the more important issues. Substantial progress has been made, but a number of outstanding issues remain.
Mr. Douglas Alexander [holding answer 20 January 2006]: My right. hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary and his Spanish counterpart, Sr Moratinos, announced the creation of the new Trilateral Forum on Gibraltar in October 2004. Since then, the Chief Minister and senior officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Spanish Foreign Ministry have met on four occasions to discuss a range of issues, including telecommunications, aviation issues, pensions and cross-border co-operation. These talks are progressing well and they are likely to meet again in the first half of next month.
Ian Pearson [holding answer 17 January 2006]: Guy Patrice Lumumba was arrested on 17 December 2005 in Kinshasa and accused of a common law violation. I am not aware of any official statements from the Congolese authorities relating to his case.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is taking to encourage the Government of India to ensure
23 Jan 2006 : Column 1802W
the protection of the minority Christian and Muslim communities in the Darys district of Gujarat from violence threatened by Hindu extremist groups. 
Dr. Howells: We are aware of the alleged involvement of Hindu extremist organisations in attacks against religious minorities in India. We condemn all instances where individuals are persecuted because of their faith or belief, wherever they happen and whatever the religion of the individual or group concerned. Our High Commission in New Delhi continues to monitor the issue of religious freedom, with staff making regular calls on the appropriate Indian authorities to flag up our concern about incidents of religious intolerance. We will continue to insist that the right to freedom of religion is upheld, and that those responsible for attacks against people on grounds of their religion are brought to justice.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreignand Commonwealth Affairs if he will assess the position of the Christian community in Indonesia, with particular reference to those facing (a) prosecution and (b) the death penalty. 
Ian Pearson: Christians in Indonesia enjoy a high degree of religious freedom. Their right to worship is protected under the Indonesian constitution. There are sporadic incidents of inter-religious violence in certain religiously mixed areas which have adversely affected both the Christian and Muslim populations. However, these have decreased in recent years and the Government of Indonesia is keen to ensure good inter- communal relations, including by working with Muslim and Christian community leaders to reduce tensions.
There are a small number of court cases involving Christians. Where the death penalty has been imposed, as in any other court case, we urge the Indonesian Government to refrain from carrying out executions, and to consider the abolition of the death penalty.
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the (a) bilateral and (b) multi-lateral contact he has had with the Government of Iran since January 2005 concerning nuclear processing; and what plans he has for further contact. 
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions his officials have had with the Kurdish Regional Government of Iraq concerning (a) removal of non-Kurdish people from the area and (b) freedom of expression; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Streeter: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Maldivian Government about the recent incident of harassment of Minivan Radio by Interpol; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has not had any discussions with the Government of the Maldives on this subject. However, officials from the British high commission in Colombo, accredited to the Maldives, raised this incident with the Maldivian Deputy Foreign Minister on 16 January 2006. We are aware that the Sri Lankan police, acting on a request through Interpol from the Government of the Maldives, made inquiries at the offices of Minivan Radio in Colombo in December 2005. We have no detailed information about the nature of these inquiries. We understand that the Sri Lankan police have indicated that no further action is to be taken. Minivan has relocated its Sri Lankan office to the United Kingdom.
We support democratic reform in the Maldives. Guaranteeing press freedom is an essential part of this process. In support of this, we have funded training for private and state media in Maldives which seeks to raise the quality of political reporting and public debate.
Mr. Maples: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the UK Government have taken since the June 2005 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference to strengthen the nuclear non-proliferation treaty; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: Since June 2005, the UK has continued to play a proactive role in international efforts in a range of fora to strengthen all three pillars of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), including:
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