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Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions have taken place with each of Afghanistan's neighbouring countries on (a) blocking of supply routes for and (b) confiscation of opium; and what the results were of those discussions. 
Regular discussions on counter narcotics (CN) issues take place between the UK and Afghanistan's neighbouring countries. The aim of these meetings is to work towards improving the capacity of the latter to interdict drugs entering their countries from Afghanistan. These discussions take place in bilateral,
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multilateral and regional frameworks. There are also a series of inter-regional meetings between Afghanistan and her neighbours to foster CN information and intelligence exchange.
Results of these discussions are encouraging. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) report that seizure rates of opiates in the countries surrounding Afghanistan has increased reflecting improved enforcement activities in the region. Much of this can be attributed to the regular dialogue to improve information/intelligence sharing and donor assistance to strengthen Afghanistan's neighbours borders. The UNODC World Drug Report 2005 reports the countries with the largest total opiates seizures for 2003 (latest available published figures) were Pakistan (34.7 mt) and Iran (26.1 mt)-equivalent to 31 per cent. and 24 per cent. of global opiate seizures respectively.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what his estimate is of the (a) farm gate value and (b) export value of opium production in (i) Nimrooz, (ii) Farah, (iii) Ghor, (iv) Oruzgan, (v) Kandahar and (vi) Helmand provinces in each of the last five years; 
(2) what his estimate is of (a) the area of poppy fields and (b) the level of opium production in (i) Nimrooz, (ii) Farah, (iii) Ghor, (iv) Oruzgan, (v) Kandahar and (vi) Helmand provinces in each of the last five years. 
Dr. Howells: We have made no such assessment. However, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) publishes information relating to the global illicit cultivation of opium poppy and the production of opium and heroin in its annual Afghanistan Opium Survey. Full details can be found on their website at:
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what measures he is taking to prevent (a) corruption and (b) infiltration by militants among (i) police and (ii) provincial politicians in Helmand. 
Dr. Howells: Tackling corruption across Afghanistan was recognised as a major challenge by delegations attending the London Conference on Afghanistan from 31 January1 February. It features prominently in the Afghanistan Compact, the framework document setting out the agreed priorities for Afghanistan's long-term reconstruction. The Afghan Government is committed to ratifying the UN Convention against Corruption by end 2006, and to put in place the necessary supporting legislation by end 2007. This will benefit all of Afghanistan.
In this context, the focus of our effort in Helmand will be to build institutional capacity in governance and to reduce the corrosive influence of the drugs trade. We will provide support to the Governor of Helmand training and mentoring for the police and judicial authorities and advice and mentoring for the counter-narcotics police. The task of securing against infiltration by militants will be achieved both by the training and support provided to the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police, and by the presence of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force. My right hon.
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Friend the Secretary of State for Defence's statement of 26 January 2006, Official Report, column 1529, announced the UK's contribution.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the UK's estimated contingent liabilities attributable to Ascension Island are; what the liabilities were estimated to be in 1999; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: We do not seek to place a precise monetary value on the contingent liabilities that the UK faces due to its relationship with the Overseas Territories. We recognise, however, that liabilities exist in a wide variety of areas including maritime safety and security, aviation safety and security, natural disasters, judicial matters, international financial services and domestic financial issues.
Colin Burgon: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list meetings in (a) the UK, (b) USA and (c) elsewhere that have taken place between (i) Ministers and (ii) officials of his Department with (A) Caleb McCarry and (B) officials of the Cuba Transition programme within the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: Caleb McCarry was appointed as the Cuba Transition Co-ordinator in July 2005 following the recommendations of the Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba. The Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba consists of senior US politicians, not officials. Ministers have met with many of these politicians over the past 12 months, but not in their capacity as members of the Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba. In the last 12 months, Ministers have not met with Caleb McCarry and officials have met with him only once in London on 7 November 2005.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received on the effects of reform of the EU sugar regime on African, Caribbean and Pacific sugar producers. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: The Governments of sugar producing countries have made their concerns about the effect of the EU sugar reform clear. Specific representations were made to my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary during his visit to Jamaica in October 2005 and to my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in November 2005.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with other Government Departments on help to African, Caribbean and Pacific countries to mitigate the effect on jobs of reform of the EU sugar regime. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: Officials from the relevant Government Departments, including the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), the Department for the Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs, the Department for International Development (DFID) and Her Majesty's Treasury, have met frequently under Cabinet Office coordination in recent months to discuss ways of helping African, Caribbean and Pacific sugar producers adjust to the reform of the EU sugar regime, and to secure the support of the European Commission and other member states for an adequate level of assistance. The subject has also been discussed in meetings between the Parliamentary Under-Secretaries at the FCO and DFID.
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