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Derek Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of Chinese investments in Commonwealth countries in Africa; and if he will make a statement. 
The Department has not calculated Chinese investments in Commonwealth African countries. However, China is Africa's third most important trade partner, and investments are accelerating in minerals, raw materials and energy. Through the Department for International Development Office in Beijing, we discuss with China the impact its activities and investments are having on poorer nations, including in Africa.
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Derek Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the EU Council of Ministers last met the Chinese Foreign Minister to discuss Chinese investments in Africa; and if he will make a statement. 
Ian Pearson: The EU Council of Ministers has not met the Chinese Foreign Minister to discuss this issue. However, there have been informal discussions on China's role in Africa in the EU context. On 9 December the EU Secretariat organised the first Africa Task Force meeting to discuss this issue with Chinese representatives. The UK supported this useful initiative led by Koen Vervaeke, the Council Secretariat Head of the Africa Task Force.
Derek Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he last raised the issue of China's raw materials investment programme in African countries with his Chinese counterpart; and if he will make a statement. 
Ian Pearson: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary, has not raised the issue of Chinese investments in African countries. In ministerial contacts with the Chinese ambassador, we have argued for a responsible investment policy, and we have expressed concern about Chinese commercial support for countries with internal problems such as Zimbabwe and Sudan.
Clare Short: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the Immigration and Nationality Directorate will reply to the letter of 28 October 2005 from the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Ladywood, on behalf of Nazia Mahmood (post reference 728276, reference M1265571, acknowledgement reference B2588015). 
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to the Government of Cuba about the detention of Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander:
We are very concerned about the plight of Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet, particularly the effect of the severe conditions of his confinement on his health. Our embassy in Havana continues to monitor Dr. Biscet's case and maintains close contact with his supporters and family. Most recently, a member of our embassy staff met his wife in December 2005. The Government considers his imprisonment to be a grave violation of his civil and political freedoms, and in particular his freedom of expression as recognised in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which includes the right 'to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers'.
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We regularly raise the situation of all political prisoners in Cuba with Cuban authorities both in London and Havana, and call for their immediate release. My noble Friend the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister responsible for relations with Cuba, Lord Triesman of Tottenham, most recently raised this with the Cuban Ambassador on 8 November 2005 at the all party parliamentary group Cuba meeting. During our presidency of the EU we issued a number of statements reiterating this message and condemning Cuba's human rights record.
Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the Turkish Government in respect of proposals to build leisure, tourist and educational facilities on illegally-occupied land in the Morphou district of northern Cyprus; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: We are aware of plans to build leisure, tourist and educational facilities in the Morphou district of northern Cyprus. While we maintain a dialogue with the Turkish Cypriot community on all aspects of the Cyprus settlement, the Government are not in a position to control property development in the north. We recognise that the Turkish Cypriots face powerful economic forces in a perverse political environment and believe that the difficult and complex issues relating to property in Cyprus can only be resolved as part of a comprehensive settlement.
Mr. Douglas Alexander: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary, plans to meet Mehmet Ali Talat in his offices as leader of the Turkish Cypriot community during his forthcoming visit to Cyprus. This is in keeping with past practice.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the current flows of small arms to warring factions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; and what measures he is taking to ensure a better enforcement of the arms embargo. 
Ian Pearson: The borders of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) remain porous. Smuggling of small arms to dissident forces is generally small-scale. Throughout eastern DRC, the illicit exploitation of natural resources is connected with the continued proliferation of small arms to the armed factions that guard these mines.
In the UN Security Council in November 2005, the UK and other partners successfully sought agreement to name individuals and organisations responsible for arms embargo violations as provided for in UN Security Council Resolution 1649. These violators will now be
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targeted by sanctions including asset freezes and travel bans. We are currently considering the most recent report of the United Nations group of experts, and will be discussing within the Security Council later this month what action can be taken to improve implementation of the arms embargo.
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has received concerning the state of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; and what recent representations have been made to the government of that country by his Department. 
Ian Pearson: We have received regular representations from local and international non-governmental organisations regarding the human rights situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Years of conflict, exacerbated by corruption, illegal exploitation of resources, the collapse of the state and chronic poverty, have led to a high level of human rights violations and abuses of humanitarian standards.
The UK frequently reminds the DRC authorities of the need to protect the rights of all vulnerable groups and to bring to justice all perpetrators of abuse. An EU-led Resolution on the DRC adopted at this year's UN General Assembly makes clear that the DRC Government must take action to improve human rights conditions, through better command and control of the armed forces, improved freedom of expression and better protection for human rights defenders.
Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on how many occasions consular officials have visited Mr. Hilal Al Jedda in Iraq; and what other consular assistance has been offered to him. 
Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether Mr. Hilal Al Jedda will be tried according to international norms or returned home to the United Kingdom. 
Ian Pearson: Mr. Al Jedda is detained in Iraq pursuant to UN Security Council resolutions 1546 (2004) and 1637 (2005) and Iraqi legislation, which authorise the Multi-National Force in Iraq to detain persons where this is necessary for imperative reasons of security. He is not currently facing any criminal charges. Mr. Al Jedda travelled voluntarily to Iraq and the UK Government are under no obligation to return him to the UK.
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