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6 Feb 2006 : Column 768W—continued

British Virgin Islands

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his Department's expenditure on internal security and policing was for the British Virgin Islands in (a) 2002, (b) 2003, (c) 2004 and (d) 2005; and what expenditure is planned for 2006. [47098]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: The following sums have been spent on policing and internal security in the British Virgin Islands during 2003–04, 2004–05 and 2005–06 financial years.

As the British Virgin Islands also receive further support from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office through a number of regional initiatives including training/exchange programmes and courses, as well as receiving on-going support from FCO funded advisers, figures for the cross-Territory (regional) support of security initiatives is also included.

FCO funding for the British Virgin IslandsCross-Territory (regional) funding

The above figures do not, however, include local expenditure made at Post through the Governor's Delegated Fund. Figures for 2005–06 are anticipated. Allocations for 2006–07 have not yet been made.

The 2002–03 figures are not included as they are not immediately available. I will therefore write to my hon. Friend with this information as soon as it becomes available and will place a copy in the Library of the House.


Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment the Government has made of whether (a) Serbia and (b) Montenegro are making arms sales to Burma. [48615]

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Dr. Howells: The Government has not made a formal assessment of possible arms sales by Serbia or Montenegro to Burma. Serbia and Montenegro's Law on Foreign Trade in Weapons, Military Equipment and Dual Use Goods states that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will consider the

as well as the EU Code of Conduct on arms exports before approving an export licence.

Charles Munyaneza

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what steps (a) were taken (b) are planned by his Department to satisfy itself that Charles Munyaneza has no case to answer under international law on war crimes and genocide; [48206]

(2) what discussions he has had with the Chief Prosecutor of the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda on the case of Charles Munyaneza. [48209]

Ian Pearson: Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials discussed the matter with the Office of the Chief prosecutor on the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on 27 January and again on 31 January. The ICTR confirmed that it has not issued an indictment relating to Charles Munyaneza and does not intend to do so. The case is also being considered by the UK police. Decisions on whether an individual has a case to answer under UK criminal law are a matter for the police and the Crown Prosecution Service.

Mr. Andrew Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the Government has taken to implement the international arrest warrant for Charles Munyaneza. [49192]

Ian Pearson: Recent media allegations concerning Charles Munyaneza, a Rwandan national, are being investigated by the UK police and Crown Prosecution Service. It would be inappropriate to comment on international arrest procedures while that investigation is ongoing.


Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the implications for UK security of the reciprocal arrangements made between China and Iran concerning long-term oil supply to China. [47022]

Ian Pearson: Iran is the world's fourth largest oil exporter. China imports around 13 per cent. of her oil from Iran. The details of commercial arrangements between China and Iran are a matter for those two countries.

We consult very closely with China on policy towards Iran. We welcome the agreement reached on 30 January between the Foreign Ministers of the UK, China, France, Germany, Russia and the US concerning Iran's nuclear programme.
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Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he will respond to the letter from the hon. Member for Sutton and Cheam dated 15 March 2005, on behalf of Mary Stevenage, regarding human rights abuses in Cuba. [47990]

Mr. Douglas Alexander [holding answer 2 February 2006]: Although a reply was prepared to the hon. Member's letter, for reasons we are looking into, it does not appear to have been issued. This has now been rectified and a response was sent on 1 February.

Clare Short: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he will reply to the letter dated 10 August 2005 from the hon. Member for Birmingham, Ladywood, concerning the export of handcuffs. [48884]

Dr. Howells: I am sorry that my right hon. Friend has not had a reply to her letter. An administrative error meant that the letter referred to was not received in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office until 24 January 2006. A reply will be sent shortly.

Dr. Oscar Biscet

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received about the situation of Dr. Oscar Biscet, imprisoned in Cuba; and what representations he has made to the government of Cuba on Dr. Biscet's case. [47757]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: We regularly receive expressions of concern about Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet's situation. We are very concerned about his situation, 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 consider his imprisonment to be a 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

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. During our presidency of the EU we issued a number of statements reiterating this message. The Minister responsible for relations with Cuba, Lord Triesman most recently raised this issue with the Cuban Ambassador on 8 November 2005 at the APPG Cuba meeting.

EU Committees

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many meetings of the (a) Joint Committee (EC-Kingdom of Cambodia), (b) Joint Committee (EEC-China) and (c) Joint Committee (EEC-India) have taken place during the UK presidency of the EU; who presided over
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each meeting; which other UK representatives were present; what provisions were made for representation of the devolved Governments; and if he will make a statement. [39044]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: There was no EC-Cambodia Joint Committee during the UK presidency. The EC-India Joint Commission met on 24–25 October 2005. The UK was represented by officials from the British high commission in Delhi. EC-China Joint Committee met on 4 November 2005. There was no UK representation at this meeting. Commission officials presided over both meetings.

The UK Government takes into account the views and interests of the devolved administrations when formulating the UK's policy position on all EU and international issues which touch upon devolved matters. Provision for attendance at EU meetings by Ministers and officials of the devolved administrations is set out in paragraphs 4.12–15 of the Concordat on Co-ordination of European Union Policy Issues (part of the Memorandum of Understanding between devolved Ministers and the UK Government), a copy of which is available at:

Ministers from the devolved administrations have attended and do attend councils, by agreement with the lead Whitehall Minister.

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