|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the impact of the closure of the Karni crossing in the Gaza Strip on the Palestinian economy; and if he will make a statement. 
The Karni crossing point between Israel and Gaza reopened on 5 February. The United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs estimates Palestinian losses at US$500,000 a day during the closure. It is essential for the Palestinian economy that crossing points in and out of Gaza remain open. We condemn recent attacks by Palestinian militants on the Karni and Erez checkpoints which can only hinder efforts to improve access to Gaza and the economic prospects of the area. We will continue to support the work of Quartet Special Envoy James Wolfensohn in helping to
14 Feb 2006 : Column 1905W
implement this agreement and urge both parties to fulfil their obligations under the Movement and Access Agreement.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what discussions the Government have had with (a) Israel and (b) the Palestinian Authority on ensuring that it fulfils its obligations under the Road Map; 
we, along with our EU partners, will continue to work with the Palestinians, the Israelis and the international community to make progress on the road map, to which both the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the Israeli Government remain committed".
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the official residences for which his Department is responsible; who occupies each one; what the annual cost is of running each property; what contribution the occupants of each make towards running costs; what the total capital and refurbishment expenditure was on those properties in 200405; how much was spent in each property on (a) flowers and plants, (b) wine and entertaining, (c) food, (d) telephone bills and (e) electricity and gas in 200405; how many (i) domestic and (ii) maintenance staff are employed at each property, broken down by post; and what the total cost of staff employment was in 200405. 
Mr. Straw: In the UK, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) maintains official residential accommodation and conference facilities at 1 Carlton Gardens, London. The running costs in 200405 for the residential accommodation, on the second and third floors and currently unoccupied, are as follows:
|Renovation (Capital and refurbishment)||Nil|
No maintenance or domestic staff are employed. There are no separate records available for expenditure on (a) flowers and plants, (b) wine and entertaining, (c) food, (d) telephone bills at this property but as the premises are currently unoccupied no expenditure on these items will have arisen apart from the phone rental.
14 Feb 2006 : Column 1906W
Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with British overseas territories to establish how much support they gave to international development in 2005. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: My right. hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has had no discussions with the Governments of the British overseas territories regarding how much support they gave to international development in 2005.
Mr. Burrowes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to his answer of 7 February 2006, Official Report, column 736, on Palestinian elections, whether it is Government policy that a Hamas-led Palestinian Authority which commits itself to the principle for non-violence will not receive financial assistance unless Hamas renounces its commitment to destroy the State of Israel. 
'We have said we will not be able to have contact with an Hamas-led government unless it is clear that they are prepared to forswear that part of their constitution that says they want rid of the State of Israel and that they are prepared to embrace democratic and non violent means of achieving an independent, viable Palestinian state. If they do not make those changes that will stand in the way of us being able to help.'
Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether his Political Director discussed with representatives of the Serbian government acceptance of Kosovo's independence during his recent visit to Serbia. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander [holding answer 13 February 2006]: John Sawers, Political Director at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, met Prime Minister Kostunica of Serbia and other Serbian representatives on his trip to Belgrade. He also visited Kosovo. The purpose of these visits was to follow up the 31 January 2006 Contact Group Ministerial meeting.
Mr. Sawers gave a number of messages to his interlocutors in line with the recommendations Martti Ahtisaari, the UN status envoy, gave to Ministers at the 31 January meeting. The messages Mr. Sawers gave in his private meetings in both Belgrade and Pristina were fully consistent with the Contact Group statement and the Guiding Principles, both of which have been placed in the Library of the House.
14 Feb 2006 : Column 1907W
The 31 January statement makes clear that the outcome of the final status should be acceptable to the people of Kosovo. In response to questions from the media, Mr. Sawers noted that independence for Kosovo was an option, and that some might say it was the only sustainable option. The legacy of the Milosevic era in Kosovoviolence, ethnic cleansing and the conflict in 1999had led to the present UN mandate, and the future status process would need to reflect this background. It was incumbent on the Kosovo Albanians to create the conditions under which their aspirations could be met. That meant arrangements in Kosovo that guaranteed minority rights, protected Serb historic and cultural monuments and allowed those displaced from Kosovo to return.
Dr. Howells: Where there is evidence of an official boycott of goods and discrimination against an EU member state, we support action by the European Commission to resolve the issue. For example, at the 7 November 2005 General Affairs and External Relations Council, the European Union called on Iran to lift all discriminatory restrictions against individual member states, which could impact negatively on Iran's stated desire to pursue greater co-operation with the EU.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has
14 Feb 2006 : Column 1908W
had with (a) the UN, (b) the African Union and (c) the Governments of African countries where the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) operates on how to take forward the aims of the International Criminal Court in relation to the LRA. 
Ian Pearson: The aim of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in relation to the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) is to ensure that the five commanders with arrest warrants issued for them are detained and brought to The Hague to face trial. The UK supports the ICC's efforts to bring to justice the perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
We have stressed to the Governments of Uganda, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) their obligations to detain the LRA commanders facing arrest warrants. We, and the ICC, are in close contact with the African Union and the UN. On 23 January 2006, the UN force in DRC (MONUC) demonstrated in its operation in Garamba National Park, that it is committed to tackling the LRA contingent based in DRC.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|