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Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what total sum has been received by his Department for the provision of information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 in its first year of operation. 
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the Government White Paper, Prospects for the European Union in 2006, what assessment he has made of the steps necessary to be taken at this stage by the UN Security Council in order to reinforce the authority of International Atomic Energy Agency resolutions regarding Iran; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: The purpose of involving the United Nations Security Council in the question of Iran's nuclear programme is to reinforce the authority of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), while leaving the door open for related diplomatic efforts and negotiations. Our objective is to ensure that both the Security Council, with its primary responsibility for matters of international peace and security, and the IAEA can contribute to the resolution of the issue within their competencies.
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights spending on the promotion of human rights and the rule of law in Iran. 
The EU has allocated around €4.4 million to projects in Iran under the European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights. Three projects, to which the EU has allocated a total of
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€2.9 million, are implemented by UN agencies. A further €1 million project was launched in January 2005.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the capability of Iran to deliver nuclear weapons in the event of their being developed. 
Dr. Howells: Iran claims that its Shabab 3 ballistic missiles are capable of reaching Israel. Information relating to Iran has been made available to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) suggesting that Iran may be designing a missile re-entry vehicle which could have a military nuclear dimension. Iran has refused to address this information with the IAEA.
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the basis is for UK/US monitoring of the detention of Ahmed Saardat of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine; what assessment he has made of the reported declaration by Hamas that it would release Mr. Saardat; whether he plans to make changes in UK arrangements for the monitoring of this detention; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: Ahmed Saadat is one of the six Palestinian detainees held by the Palestinian Authority in Jericho as part of the 2002 Ramallah Agreement with Israel. The US/UK role is simply to monitor the terms of this agreement and to report any non-compliance. The Ramallah Agreement states that any changes in the status of the detainees should be agreed between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been made since the 2002 New Delhi Declaration in strengthening ties between the UK and India. 
Dr. Howells: Britain's bilateral relations with India are stronger than they have ever been. India is and will continue to be a key strategic partner for this country. Since the 2002 New Delhi Declaration was signed, there has been a wide range of initiatives and two-way visits focused on developing this partnership. My right hon. Friend the Prime Ministers' Initiative, signed on 20 September 2004 during Manmohan Singh's visit to the UK, set out a new strategic partnership between the UK and India. The text of this is available at: http://www.britishhighcommission.gov.uk/servlet/Front?pagename=OpenMarket/Xcelerate/ShowPage&c=Page&cid=1101400864001. Under this rubric, the two Governments have established the Joint Economic and Trade Committee to remove blockages to bilateral trade and services. This met most recently at Secretary of State level at the end of January 2006. The same initiative established also the Economic and Financial Dialogue, inaugurated in February 2005 by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and his Indian opposite number.
My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister held a bilateral summit with Manmohan Singh in Delhi in September 2005. My right hon. Friend announced
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£10 million funding for UK-India Education and Research initiative. He also announced an enhanced Air Services Agreement under which direct services between the UK and India will quadruple. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister was accompanied by a delegation of senior British CEOs.
The UK is conducting a major public diplomacy initiative in India, launched by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister in Delhi, to change perceptions of the UK and promote better understanding of our modern, innovative, integrated society. Other bodies active in promoting the bilateral relationship include the Indo British Partnership Network and the UK-India Round Table.
A detailed overview on the current state of Indo/UK relations is available at: http://www.britishhighcommission.gov.uk/servlet/Front?pagename=OpenMarket/Xcelerate/ShowPage&c=Page&cid=1017170902405
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the implications of the outcome of the recent Palestinian legislative elections for the European Commission and European Investment Bank's package to support economic regeneration in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. 
Dr. Howells: We fully support the statements of the Quartet (EU, US, UN and Russia) and EU Foreign Ministers at the General Affairs and External Relations Council on 30 January. The Council concluded that it
'expects the newly elected Palestinian Legislative Council to support the formation of a Government committed to a peaceful and negotiated solution of the conflict with Israel based on existing agreements and the Roadmap as well as to the rule of law, reform and sound fiscal management. On this basis the European Union stands ready to continue to support Palestinian economic development and democratic state building.'
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions (a) he, (b) Ministers and (c) officials in his Department have held with Malaysian Government officials since September 2005 on the award of the Pingat Jasa medal; and if he will make a statement. 
Neither I nor my ministerial colleagues have had any discussions on this subject with Malaysian Government officials since September 2005. The British high commissioner in Kuala Lumpur had discussions with senior Malaysian officials about the Pingat Jasa medal in September and October 2005. Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials had meetings with officials in the Malaysian high commission on 25 October, 18 November, 20 December 2005, and 1 February. There have also been several exchanges of correspondence and telephone calls between officials and members of the Malaysian high commission since September 2005.
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My hon. Friend the Minister for Trade, Inward Investment and Foreign Affairs, Ian Pearson, made a written ministerial statement on the Pingat Jasa medal in this House on 31 January 2006, Official Report, column 11WS.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions (a) he and (b) his officials have had with the Royal British Legion on the wearing of the Pingat Jasa medal since September 2005. 
Mr. Straw: Neither I nor my officials have had any discussions with the Royal British Legion on the wearing of the Pingat Jasa Malaysia medal.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the African Union on it launching a mission to Somalia. 
Ian Pearson: Officials in Addis Ababa and Nairobi have had frequent discussions with their African Union (AU) contacts about a possible Peace Support Operation in Somalia, most recently on 31 January 2006.
The UN Security Council has welcomed the readiness of the AU to support the establishment of a functioning central Government in Somalia, including by possible deployment of a Peace Support Operation (PSO). The Council emphasised that a prerequisite for any PSO should be a detailed mission plan, endorsed by the Transitional Federal Institutions, on the basis of a national security and stabilisation plan, spelling out ceasefire arrangements, and the precise role of a PSO.
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