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present an initiative to improve decision taking and accountability in areas such as police and judicial co-operation and legal migration, using the possibilities under the existing Treaties.
The Finnish presidency has also announced its intention to explore the possibility of using the article 42 passerelle to improve the decision-making process. In its Preliminary Agenda for Finlands Presidency of the EU of 24 May, the presidency said that the review of the Hague Programme
could include...achieving more effective decision-making on police and criminal law (the passerelle).
Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what assessment she has made of the suitability of the Republic of Montenegro for membership of the European Union; and if she will make a statement; 
Mr. Hoon: The UK supports both Serbia's and Montenegro's European aspirations. The pace at which each country moves towards membership of the EU will depend upon it meeting the conditions required at each stage. The next stage for each state is to conclude negotiations with the EU on a Stabilisation and Association Agreement. The European Commission is likely to bring forward mandates for the negotiations shortly. Conclusion of agreements will depend, in both cases, on fulfilling the appropriate conditions, in particular full co-operation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. We will maintain regular discussions with the European Commission and with our EU partners on these issues.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 27 February 2006, Official Report, column 301W, on EU fraud, what information is held on allegations by diplomats; to which cases the allegations refer; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Hoon: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) does not hold a comprehensive record of EU fraud allegations. Such allegations are addressed to the EU Commission. The Government fully support the Commissions work on this issue.
The European Commission (EC) Staff Regulations require EC staff to raise any concerns they have with either the Director-General of their institution, the Secretary-General, persons in equivalent positions, or the independent European Anti-Fraud Office.
Ms Schmidt-Brown recently took a case to the European Court of Justices Court of First Instance. The Court ruled against her. It would not be appropriate to comment on the Courts judgement.
Mr. Tillack filed a complaint against the European Anti-Fraud Office at the European Court of Justices Court of First Instance. The Court rejected his case. It would not be appropriate to comment on the Courts judgement.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what representations she has made to the Irish Government
about the extradition request by the Colombian Government of James Monaghan, Niall Connolly and Martin McCauley; 
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the statement of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe on 27 June on extraordinary renditions; and if she will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: The Government have fully co-operated with the Council of Europe inquiries. We have found no evidence of detainees being rendered through UK territory or airspace where there were substantial grounds to believe there was a real risk of torture. The then Foreign Secretary set out in his written ministerial statement of 20 January 2006, Official Report, columns 37-38WS, the results of the extensive review of Official Records back to May 1997.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when she will provide the information on extraordinary rendition requested by the Joint Committee on Human Rights in its nineteenth report, published in May 2006. 
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the British Government will play a role in supporting the secure development of oil and gas exploration facilities in the Falkland Islands waters. 
Mr. Hoon: The Government will play a role in supporting the secure development of oil and gas exploration facilities in the Falkland Islands territorial sea and continental shelf. The Government are responsible for the external security and defence of the Falkland Islands. The provision of routine security and policing of oilrigs is a matter for the Falkland Islands Government and the oil exploration companies.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what
representations the Government have made to the Israeli authorities about the closure of the Kerem Shalom Crossing in Gaza; and what alternative arrangements are being made to allow access to Gaza for food and medical humanitarian assistance. 
Mr. McCartney [holding answer 4 July 2006]: The Kerem Shalom, as well as all other crossing points between Gaza and Israel, remains closed for Palestinian nationals. We raised our concerns about their closure and the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip with the Israeli Government on 29 June and we will continue to do so. The Erez crossing remains open for humanitarian cases.
On 2 July the Karni crossing was opened for humanitarian aid. The crossing is expected to be open for six hours a day for four days this week. According to the Israeli Ministry of Defence, Israel would allow 150 trucks carrying food and medicine to pass through the crossing each day.
Dr. Starkey: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment has been made by the (a) Government, (b) EU and (c) UN of the effect on the humanitarian situation in Gaza of (i) the closure of all land crossing in and out of Gaza, (ii) the prevention of fishermen accessing the sea and (iii) the destruction of the electricity supply station. 
Mr. McCartney [holding answer 4 July 2006]: We are concerned by the humanitarian situation in Gaza, particularly the supply of electricity, water and the closure of the Gaza-Israel crossing points. Our defence attaché in Tel Aviv raised our concerns about the worsening situation in Gaza, including the loss of power and water supplies, with the Israeli Defence Force on 29 June.
On 30 June, the EU said it regrets the destruction of essential infrastructure, which contributes to the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Gaza. Restoring electricity and water supplies and access for humanitarian organisations must be a priority now to avoid a humanitarian crisis. The EU has continually called upon both parties to implement the 15 November 2005 Agreement on Movement and Access, and for Israel to keep the crossing points between Gaza and Israel open.
the Government of Israel to show restraint, to avoid actions that damage civilian infrastructure and that aggravates the hardship of the Palestinian population, and to abide by international humanitarian law. To prevent a further decline in the humanitarian situation, Israel should also act urgently to facilitate the import of essential medical supplies, foodstuffs, and particularly fuel into the Gaza Strip.
The World Food Programme and the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported on the situation in Gaza on 30 June. They raised concerns over the water supply, health matters and food scarcity given the lack of electricity and a shortage of fuel caused by closures of the crossing points. We note with concern the World Food Programme assessment of the impact of fishermen not being able to go out to sea.
Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what monitoring is being undertaken by the UK Government to ascertain whether military equipment and components supplied to Israel from the UK are being used in the military incursions by Israel into Gaza which commenced on 27 June 2006. 
Dr. Howells: In common with all of our diplomatic posts, our Embassy in Tel Aviv monitors local developments closely and notes any information which comes to light that military equipment supplied by the UK has been used in a manner inconsistent with the Consolidated Criteria. The Government will take this into consideration when assessing any future export licence applications. The Government may also revoke relevant licence(s) and ask the authorities in the country concerned to investigate.
All export licence applications from the UK are rigorously assessed on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Export Licensing Criteria, taking full account of the prevailing circumstances at the time of application.
Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate she has made of (a) the number of Palestinians taken by Israeli forces in the Occupied Palestinian Territories who are held in detention without trial and (b) the number of children taken and held in this way. 
Dr. Howells: Administrative detainees are held in both Israeli Defence Force (IDF) and Israel Prisons Service (IPS) facilities. According to figures provided by the IDF to Israeli non-governmental organisations, the IDF was holding, as of 3 January 2006, 741 Palestinians in administrative detention. IPS told our embassy in Tel Aviv that, as of May 2006, 617 administrative detainees were being held in IPS facilities.
We are concerned at the policy of administrative detention, especially when periods of detention are repeatedly extended without trial and involves the detention of minors. We have made no estimate of the number of minors in Israeli prisons.
Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what response she has made to the agreement between Hamas and Fatah regarding acceptance of a two state settlement in Israel and Palestine; and what representations she has made to (a) the Palestinian Authority, (b) Israel and (c) the USA on the subject. 
Dr. Howells: We would welcome any movement toward the three Quartet (EU, UN, US and Russia) principles: renounce violence; recognise Israel; and accept previous agreements, including the Roadmap. We are aware of reports that an agreement has been reached between Hamas and Fatah. We await an official announcement and further details. We will judge Hamas by their actions. We urge all parties to find a way back to negotiations, which are the best way of ensuring a lasting peace.
I refer my hon. Friend to the reply my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister gave the right hon. and learned Member for North-East Fife (Sir Menzies Campbell) on 28 June 2006, Official Report, column 255.
Dr. Starkey: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations the Government have made to the Israeli authorities about the detention of elected Palestinian representatives. 
Mr. McCartney [holding answer 4 July 2006]: At the G8 Foreign Ministers meeting in Moscow on 29 June, G8 Foreign Ministers called on Israel to exercise utmost restraint in the current crisis. They also expressed their concerns over the detention of elected members of the Palestinian Government and legislature.
about the detention of elected members of the Palestinian Government and legislature. Those detained should be accorded their full legal rights.
Dr. Starkey: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information she has received on the (a) names of the members of the Palestinian Parliament and Cabinet who have been recently arrested by the Israeli authorities and (b) (i) where, (ii) on what charges and (iii) under what legal authority they are being detained. 
Mr. McCartney [holding answer 4 July 2006]: Local media has reported that the names of the arrested members of the Palestinian Government are as follows: Omar Abdel Razeq, Dr. Samir Abu-Aisha, Khaled Abu-Arafeh, Wasfi Kabaha, Issa Al- Jabari, Fakhri Turkman, Sheikh Nayef Al-Rjoub, Muhammad Bargouti, Basem Zaraier, Khalil RabaI, Samir Al-Kadi, Muhammad al-Tal, Muhamad abu-Jheishah, Muhammad Bader, Anwar Zboun, Mahmoud Al-Kahtib, Wael Al-Husseini, Muhammad Abu-Teir, Ahmad Atoun, Husni Bureini, Riyad Amli, Yassir Mansour, Ibrahim Dahbour, Ibrahim Abu-Salem, Khaled Abu-Hassan, Khaled Yahia, Ryiad Raddad, Fathi Karawi, Imad Nofal, Naser Abdel-Jawad, Abdel-Jaber Fuqaha, Muhammad Totah and Ali Romanin. The arrests took place in the West Bank.
was taken within the context of a normal legal criminal procedure with the intention of questioning those who were arrested. They are suspected of criminal offences...that constitute a violation of the law according to the Ordinance for the Prevention of Terrorism.
in the event that there is no basis for putting someone among those arrested on trial, that person will be released.
Mr. Hoon: I met the Serbian Prime Minister Vladimir Kostunica in London on 27 June. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister also held a meeting with Prime Minister Kostunica. On 21 June I also saw President Boris Tadic in London. During these meetings, we both stressed the need for any final settlement for Kosovo to be a realistic one, acceptable to the people of Kosovo and promoting long-term regional stability.
Mr. Hoon: The Government will continue to sustain a productive and successful partnership with Russia which contributes to the achievement of the international priorities set out in the White Paper Active Diplomacy for a Changing World (28 March 2006) and the additional priority of climate security announced on 8 June 2006.
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