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Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how much it cost (a) him and (b) officials from his Department to fly to and from Russia for his recent visit. 
I regret that an inaccurate answer was given to the hon. Member's question. The answer referred the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Mid-Worcestershire (Peter Luff) on 16 November 2005, Official Report, column 1268W. The answer given stated that the total cost of a visit to Moscow, Iraq and Bahrain, on 8-12 November 2005, undertaken by my right. hon. Friend the then Foreign Secretary (Mr. Jack Straw) was £98,400. In fact, the cost of the visit was
£96,400. The original figure was based on an estimate provided by our charter broker and has subsequently been revised. The cost of diverting through the UK is included in the revised figure and still stands at £30,200.
Peter Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what was the additional cost of (a) his and (b) his officials' early return from Moscow to permit him to vote in the proceedings in the Terrorism Bill. 
Margaret Beckett [pursuant to the reply, 16 November 2005, Official Report, c. 1268W]: I regret that an inaccurate answer was given to part of the hon. Members question. The answer given stated that the total cost of a visit to Moscow, Iraq and Bahrain, on 8-12 November 2005, undertaken by my right hon. Friend the then Foreign Secretary (Mr. Straw) was £98,400. In fact, the cost of the visit was £96,400.
The original figure was based on an estimate provided by our charter broker and has subsequently been revised. The cost of diverting through the UK is included in the revised figure and still stands at £30,200.
Mrs. Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what her Department's policy is on providing funding for members of the (a) Muslim Brotherhood and (b) Muslim Association of Britain. 
Mr. Hoon [holding answer 18 July 2006]: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) does not provide funding for either organisation, although there may be occasions when those who are affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood and the Muslim Association of Britain take part in FCO initiatives or events that involve a broad range of participants.
Mrs. Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether Sheikh Yusuf al Qaradawi produced a report for the Foreign Office following his attendance at the Muslims of Europe Conference in Istanbul. 
Mr. Hoon [holding answer 18 July 2006]: Sheikh Yusuf al Qaradawi has not produced any kind of report for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He was one participant at a conference organised and led by a steering group of European Muslim scholars and civil society representatives. The output of the conference included a declaration and recommendations agreed by all its participants, including a strong renunciation of violence and terrorism. The full text is available at: www.muslimsofeurope.com/topkapi.php.
Mrs. Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what (a) financial and (b) other support was given to Sheikh Yusuf al Qaradawi and his family to attend the Muslims of Europe conference in Istanbul; and who authorised such support. 
Mr. Hoon [holding answer 18 July 2006]: Ministers approved Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) funding for the Muslims of Europe Conference, which was organised by a steering group of European Muslims. The steering group invited a wide variety of Muslim scholars and civil society representatives, including Sheikh Al-Qaradawi. FCO support for the Conference included flight, food and accommodation costs for all participants, including Sheikh Al-Qaradawi and his wife who was acting as his assistant.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if she will make a statement on the next steps towards the fulfilment of the commitment in the G8 2004 Non-proliferation Action Plan towards a mechanism for the reliable access of all countries to nuclear energy. 
Margaret Beckett: The UK is actively working with others to formulate appropriate incentives for countries to forego fuel-cycle facilities. The UK co-sponsored a concept paper presented at the last International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors meeting, 12-15 June 2006, that outlined a mechanism to provide reliable access to nuclear fuel. This paper will be the subject of further discussion during a special event to be held in the margins of the IAEA General Conference in September. We are also working with G8 partners towards more technically advanced solutions. These are outlined in the 2006 G8 Statement on Non-proliferation, which can be found at the following website: http://en.g8russia.ru/docs/20.html.
Dr. Howells: On 15 July the Security Council adopted resolution 1695 (2006) which, inter alia, imposes sanctions in relation to North Korea. The UK fully supported adoption of the resolution, which the UK cosponsored.
The sanctions imposed by the resolution include a requirement on all states to prevent missile and missile-related items, materials, goods and technology being transferred to North Koreas missile or weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programmes. They also include a requirement on all states to prevent the procurement of missiles or missile related-items, materials, goods and technology from North Korea and the transfer of any financial resources in relation to its missile or WMD programmes.
Discussion of any further UN sanctions at this stage would be premature. However, the UK would not rule out any further action by the Security Council, including the use of sanctions, if North Korean behaviour makes that necessary.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether she has received representations from the office of the EU Commissioner for External Affairs indicating that a request has been made to the Budgetary Authority to transfer funds from the Emergency Reserve to the Temporary Mechanism to fund the Palestinian people; and if she will make a statement. 
We are concerned about the welfare of many Palestinians, particularly those affected by the current situation in Gaza. We have pushed strongly for the Temporary International Mechanism (TIM) to help meet the basic needs of Palestinians. So far, the European Community has committed €105 million to the mechanism. The UK intends to contribute up to £12 million. We are aware that several other European countries are considering making contributions. This will enable us to provide support in the health sector, to fund utilities and to give welfare allowances to some of the poorest Palestinians. In line with the commitments made at the G8 on 16 July 2006 and by the European Council on 17 July 2006, we and the EC are looking at options to further expand the TIM.
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when she will reply to (a) Question 75959, on compensation, tabled by the hon. Member for Thurrock on 5 June and (b) the letter of 10 May to which the Question refers; and what the reason has been for the delay in responding in each case. 
Dr. Howells: In late 2004, my right hon. Friend the Member for Blackburn the then Foreign Secretary requested a review by officials of the options for the regulation of the overseas operations of private military and security companies (PMSCs) registered in or operating from the United Kingdom. The aim was to follow up on the Green Paper of 2002, Private Military Companies: Options for Regulation, and to respond to the increase in the activities of PMSCs in areas of conflict overseas. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary is currently discussing the review recommendations with Ministerial colleagues: the review highlighted complex issues that need full consideration before a decision is taken on the way forward.
The Government will keep Parliament fully informed of its proposals in this area. Should we consider a regulatory regime appropriate then we would publish the proposals in the form of a white paper or consultation document to allow for comments from all interested parties.
Dr. Howells: The introduction of a register of private military and security companies (PMSCs) operating out of the UK was considered in the review of the options for the regulation of PMSCs referred to in my reply today to the hon. Members question (UIN 87939). As mentioned in that reply, the Government will keep Parliament fully informed of its proposals in this area.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 2 December 2005, Official Report, column 1387W, on private security companies, what legislation governs the conduct of the Armor Group and Control Risks Group operating on behalf of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office overseas. 
Dr. Howells: There is currently no UK legislation directly governing the conduct of private military and security companies (PMSCs) operating on behalf of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) overseas. I would refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave him today (UIN 87939) on the current position regarding regulation of this sector.
PMSCs operating on behalf of the FCO are generally subject to provisions of the legal system in the country in which they are operating as well as any applicable provisions of International Humanitarian Law, where appropriate. In certain circumstances their conduct is covered by the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if she will ask the Secretary of State for International Development to suspend all preferential debt relief and other aid to Tanzania unless and until Mr. Stewart Middleton is released from prison, all charges against him are dropped, his lands are confirmed in his rightful ownership and Mr. Benjamin Mengi is brought to justice. 
Mr. McCartney: We will not be suspending aid to Tanzania. UK development aid has helped Tanzania to increase its budget spending to reduce poverty and improve governance. We do not believe that an individual case such as this should prevent our efforts to improve the lives of impoverished Tanzanians.
Our High Commission in Dar es Salaam has been in close touch with Mr. Middleton and his wife about the charges brought against him. The High Commission has provided full consular support, including visiting Mr. Middleton while he was detained. He has now been released. The High Commission has also raised the case with the Tanzanian Government at the highest level. It is now a matter for the courts. But we will continue to urge the Tanzanian authorities to ensure that the dispute and all related matters are expeditiously and fairly resolved.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many people from (a) Canada, (b) Australia, (c) New Zealand, (d) India, (e) Pakistan, (f) Malawi, (g) St Lucia, (h) Trinidad and Tobago, (i) Belize, (j) Jamaica and (k) Kenya have used UK consular facilities in the absence of their own in each of the last five years. 
Dr. Howells: We provide consular assistance to unrepresented EU nationals and Commonwealth citizens in certain circumstances but we do not collect information on what countries they are from. Each year in the Consular Annual Return we ask our overseas posts for a total number of persons helped in these categories. For the last two years we have asked for separate figures as in the following table. Data for 2005-06 is due in September.
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Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions she has had with her US counterparts on US national space policy; and if she will make a statement. 
However, along with fellow EU member states, the UK regularly supports the resolution on the Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space at the UN General Assembly (UNGA). In 2005, we also supported a new UNGA resolution on Transparency and Confidence Building Measures in Outer Space Activities.
Mr. Hoon: We have an active commercial relationship with Venezuela and work closely with the Venezuelan Government on many issues, particularly in the fields of energy and counter-narcotics. Our policy is to maintain constructive engagement as we have much to gain by working together.
Mr. Mullin: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the letter (Ref: 26890/2006) of 18 April to the hon. Member for Sunderland South, on the possibility of conducting visa interviews in Ho Chi Minh City, when the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State expects to complete his inquiries; and if she will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: My noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Lord Triesman of Tottenham, has now completed his enquiries on this issue. Due to an administrative error in UKvisas, these enquiries were not able to be completed until now. UKvisas apologises for this error. A substantive reply from my noble Friend was sent to my hon. Friend on 23 July.
UKvisas visited Hanoi in June 2006 to review the Visa Service in Vietnam. Following the review, UKvisas is satisfied that the current operation continues to function well and there are no plans to conduct visa interviews in Ho Chi Minh City. The option was considered but deemed too resource intensive for the number of applicants involved.
The number of applicants from the south of Vietnam that are required to travel to Hanoi for interview is not expected to increase in the foreseeable future. In an effort to improve the Visa Service in Ho Chi Minh City, UKvisas is working on introducing the Fast Track criteria for visa applicants which will mean fewer applicants will be required to travel to Hanoi for interview.
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