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Mark Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the relationship between Cabinda and (a) Angola and (b) Democratic Republic of Congo. [53861]

Ian Pearson: Cabinda is a province of Angola located in an enclave north of the Congo river and bordered to the South and East by the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Cabinda has a Provincial Government which has the same structure as that of other Angolan provinces. The Governor of Cabinda is appointed by the central Government in Luanda.
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The Government of the DRC has full diplomatic relations with the Angolan Government in Luanda, which governs the whole Angolan territory including Cabinda.

Mark Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions have taken place between the Government and Angola regarding the security situation in the province of Cabinda. [53862]

Ian Pearson: A representative of the British embassy in Luanda visited Cabinda in early February 2006. While there, he discussed a range of issues, including the security situation, with the Provincial Government and with representatives of various civil society and political groups.

Baltic States (Queen's Visit)

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will accompany the Queen on her forthcoming tour of the Baltic states. [52082]

Mr. Straw: It is my intention to do so, though with the Queen's consent, I may have to attend the European Council which may coincide with the end of her visit.


Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with United States officials about (a) sanctions and (b) other measures against Iran for breaches of its international obligations in respect of its nuclear programme. [54210]

Dr. Howells: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary and Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials are in frequent contact with their counterparts in the US and other countries concerning Iran's nuclear programme. These discussions have covered possible future steps, including the various options that would be open to the United Nations Security Council.

Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with United States officials in 2005 on (a) support for a conditional security assurance to Iran and (b) the security assurance offered to Iran by France, Germany and the UK, acting as the E3, in August 2005. [54211]

Dr. Howells: During 2005, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary was in close touch with a wide range of international partners about Iran's nuclear programme, including the United States.

In August 2005, the UK, France and Germany presented to Iran proposals for a possible long-term agreement. These stated, inter alia, that, within the context of an overall agreement and Iran's fulfilment of its obligations under the non proliferation treaty, the United Kingdom and France would be prepared to reaffirm to Iran the unilateral security assurances given on 6 April 1995, and referred to in United Nations Security Council Resolution 984 (1995). The US expressed its broad support for the proposals. Iran rejected them without discussion or serious consideration.
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Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he expects the Sudanese People's Liberation Army to start withdrawing from the East of Sudan. [517955]

Ian Pearson: Under the terms of the comprehensive peace agreement (CPA), with the exception of joint integrated units, all Northern forces must be redeployed out of the South and all Southern forces redeployed out of the North. This process is ongoing.

The southern Sudanese People's Liberation Army (SPLA) was due to withdraw from Eastern Sudan—which is considered part of Northern Sudan under the CPA—by 9 January 2006. The Joint Defence Board (JDB), which is made up of representatives of both the North and South, agreed that the SPLA redeployment should be postponed by one month. This redeployment has not yet happened and discussions between the parties on the timescale for SPLA withdrawal continue. Whilst we continue to press the parties to fully implement the CPA, we support them in maintaining dialogue through the appropriate channels, such as the JDB, to resolve any difficulties.


Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the Government's latest estimate is of the number of Zimbabwean refugees to have fled to (a) Mozambique, (b) South Africa, (c) Botswana and (d) Zambia in the last 12 months. [49311]

Ian Pearson: It is impossible to estimate accurately the number of Zimbabweans who have fled from the political and economic crisis in Zimbabwe to neighbouring countries. Very few apply for refugee status. Most try to formalise their stay with work permits, or are prepared to remain as illegal immigrants. However, we believe the number of Zimbabweans living in the Southern African region, but outside of Zimbabwe, to be approximately two to three million.


Audiology Services

Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the Prime Minister's answer of 18 January 2006, Official Report, column 842, whether her statement on waiting list and waiting times reductions applies to (a) audiology tests and (b) the fitting of hearing aids in hospitals. [45319]

Jane Kennedy: The Prime Minister was referring to reductions in waiting lists and times for in-patient and day case treatment. The vast majority of audiology patients are seen in out-patients.

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how the 18-week waiting requirements will apply to audiology departments for the referral, assessment and fitting of digital hearing aids. [49240]

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Miss Kirkbride: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she plans to take to reach her 18-week target in 2008 for the fitting of the new digital hearing aids. [52024]

Jane Kennedy: We are considering the results of a recent listening exercise on the principles and definitions to govern the scope of the 18-week pathway. In the light of comments received, we will publish conclusions in the spring. To go further on audiology at this stage would pre-empt those conclusions.


Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the net NHS funding contribution for (a) general dentist services and (b) personal dentist service dentistry has been in each year since 1997–98; [31907]

(2) what total (a) gross and (b) net expenditure on (i) personal and (ii) general dental services has been in each year since 1997–98 expressed in (A) real and (B) nominal terms. [53083]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The tables show gross and net expenditure on general dental services (GDS) and gross expenditure on personal dental services (PDS) pilots. Expenditure on GDS since 1998–99 has been affected by the progressive movement of services into PDS pilots. Charge income from PDS pilots is not separately identified in national health service accounts up to 2004–05, so it is not possible to provide data for net PDS expenditure based on NHS accounts. Based on estimates obtained from Dental Practice Board payments data, we estimate that PDS expenditure in 2004–05 net of patient charge income was around £240 million.
Expenditure on the general dental service, England
£ million

Gross GDS(7)Gross GDS at 2004–05 prices(8)Net GDS(7)(5508840008)Net GDS at 2004–05 prices(8)

(7) Expenditure data for 1997–98 to 1999–2000 is based on cash data in appropriation accounts. Data from 2000–01 onwards is based on the relevant resource accounts data from health authorities (HAs) and primary care trusts (PCTs). This is to reflect the change in Department of Health Accountancy practices.
(8) Revalued to 2004–05 prices using the gross domestic product (GDP) deflator index (December 2005).
(9) Net expenditure represents the cost of the service after taking account of dental charge income collected from patients.

Gross expenditure on personal dental service pilots, England
£ million

Gross PDS(10)(5508840011)Gross PDS at 2004–05 prices(13)

(10) Expenditure data is based on the relevant resource accounts data from HAs and PCTs.
(11) NHS accounts data up to 2004–05 does not separately identify all elements of PDS gross expenditure. See note 3 for 2004–05 data.
(12) An estimate of gross PDS expenditure based on payments data obtained from Dental Practice Board.
(13) Revalued to 2004–05 prices using the GDP deflator index (December 2005).

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