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not to manufacture or acquire such [nuclear] weapons or devices.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions she has had with the Government of Pakistan about the proposed execution of Mirza Tahir Hussein. 
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what recent
discussions she has had with the Government of Russia about (a) freedom of speech, (b) the independence of the judiciary, (c) civil liberties and (d) human rights in Russia; 
Mr. Hoon: When I visited Russia in September I had meetings with Ministers from the Russian Foreign Ministry and the Deputy Chairman of the National Security Council as well as representatives of the business and non-governmental organisations (NGO) communities. I had discussions on a broad range of bilateral and foreign policy issues including human rights.
My discussions covered the democratic development of Russia; the deteriorating environment in which NGOs and civil society operate and recently adopted NGO and extremism legislation which could be used to restrict further the legitimate activities of NGOs and freedom of the media.
Human rights remain a key element of our co-operation with Russia. The Annual Report on Human Rights, released on 12 October, sets out some of our major concerns about human rights, democracy and rule of law in Russia. It details a number of occasions when Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Ministers have raised these issues with the Russian Government over the last 12 months. The report is available on the FCO website at: www.fco.gov.uk.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions she has had with the Russian Foreign Minister on British firms involvement with oil and gas exploration in Russia. 
Mr. Hoon: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has discussed oil and gas issues with the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, on several occasions, most recently on 20 September. I have also discussed these issues with my Russian counterparts, including during my visit to Moscow on 7 September.
Mr. McCartney: Our Ambassador in Dakar, as well as other EU Heads of Mission in Dakar, is urging the Senegalese government to pass the necessary legislation as soon as possible. The United Kingdom, together with our European partners, supports the Senegalese government decision to try Hissene Habre in Senegal for alleged human rights violations committed during his time as President of Chad. President Wade of Senegal announced at the African Union summit in July that he would propose to the Senegalese National Assembly a change in the law to allow Habre's trial to take place in Senegal.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment she has made of (a) the prospects for peace and (b) progress towards democracy in Somalia. 
Mr. McCartney: With our international partners, we continue to be gravely concerned about conflict in Somalia. The international community is working actively to promote a peaceful resolution to Somalia's difficulties on the basis of a sustainable peace process.
The Transitional Federal Charter of the Somali Republic, which was agreed in Nairobi in February 2004, is intended to be the basis for a federal constitution to be adopted by popular referendum during the final year of the transition period. The Charter stipulates that the Transitional Federal Parliament should have a five year term. We continue to believe that this Charter and the institutions created under it are the only existing mechanism for restoring democratic governance in Somalia, and the only mechanism that enjoys international support.
Mr. McCartney: As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, we participated in the Council's discussion of a possible peace support mission to Somalia on 25 September. The Security Council supports the Transitional Federal Government and Transitional Federal Parliament as the internationally recognised authorities to restore peace, stability and governance to Somalia. It has welcomed the agreement reached in Khartoum between the Transitional Federal Government and Union of Islamic Courts and agreed to consider a peace support mission, if it believes such a mission will contribute to peace and stability in Somalia, on the basis of a detailed mission plan. It has urged all parties to engage constructively to further progress in pursuit of a sustainable outcome.
Mr. McCartney: The security situation in Somalia remains extremely fragile. With our international partners, we are working actively to promote a peaceful resolution to Somalia's difficulties on the basis of a sustainable peace process. There are no military solutions. We continue to discuss with the African Union and neighbouring states their efforts to improve security and to ensure that Somaliland and Puntland remain stable. We urge all parties, within Somalia and across the region, to commit to dialogue and reject confrontation. We continue to believe that the Transitional Federal Charter for Somalia and the institutions created under it are the only existing mechanism for restoring long-term stability to Somalia.
Mr. McCartney: My noble Friend the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Lord Triesman of Tottenham, our ambassador in Addis Ababa and embassy officials have frequent discussions with Prime Minister Meles and other representatives of the Government of Ethiopia about the situation in Somalia. We continue to urge all parties inside and outside Somalia to refrain from action that could provoke violence, to respect the UN arms embargo on Somalia and to pursue a peaceful resolution through dialogue under the Khartoum process. We have also held discussions at the UN General Assembly on any role the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development might play, with UN Security Council approval, in achieving greater peace and security to encourage the process of dialogue.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations she has made to the South African Government on expropriations of farm land by that Government. 
Mr. McCartney: The Government have made no representations to the Government of South Africa on the issue of land expropriation. In the areas of land reform and restitution, the Government of South Africa is officially committed to a constitutional and market-based process of land reform through the willing buyer, willing seller principle. The Government of South Africa have, however, indicated that where this principle falls through, it may in future be prepared to resort to court-authorised legal compulsory purchase, with the owners having the right to challenge in court the price they are paid for the land.
During 2006 and particularly over recent months, the security situation in Sri Lanka has deteriorated. The humanitarian situation is now very serious. As a result of the recent violence there are now over 200,000
additional internally displaced persons (IDPs). The Department for International Development has provided over £500,000 in additional relief through the UN and the Red Cross.
There have been allegations of serious human rights violations by all parties to the conflict. It is essential to establish the truth of such allegations. We therefore welcome President Rajapkases initiative for a national commission to inquire into recent killings, disappearances and abductions in Sri Lanka and a panel of international observers to oversee the process. It is important that the investigations are thorough, credible and provide a proper basis where necessary, for due legal process.
We and EU partners continue to make clear to the Government and to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) that the only viable way to a peaceful resolution of this tragic conflict is for both sides to negotiate, and to work constructively towards a settlement that addresses the grievances and legitimate aspirations of all Sri Lankans. We continue to call on both sides to support the 2002 cease-fire agreement in deed as well as word.
The Sri Lankan President has convened an All-Party Conference to consider options for a long-term settlement. We support the aims of the Conference and hope it can deliver a way forward for the peace process.
We welcome the recent proposal for talks between the Sri Lankan Government and the LTTE over 28-29 October in Geneva and urge both sides to participate in good faith, and to talk constructively about the cessation of the hostilities now, and for the longer-term. We strongly support the efforts of the Norwegian Government on the talks currently proposed and on their ongoing facilitation of the peace process. We remain in close contact with them.
Mr. Carswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate her Department has made of the number of students from (a) Russia and (b) the Ukraine who have outstayed their student visa. 
No such estimate is possible given the withdrawal of embarkation controls at seaports, small and medium sized airports in 1994 and the reconfiguration of the remaining controls at larger airports in 1998. The e-Borders programme that is scheduled to commence in 2008 will provide an electronic record of all those entering and leaving the UK.
We continue to press the Government of Sudan through our embassies in Khartoum and Addis Ababa, seat of the African Union, and through regional, African, Arab and UN partners to accept a UN peacekeeping force for Darfur.
My noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Lord Triesman of Tottenham, discussed this matter with the Sudanese Foreign Minister in September. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Development intends to travel to Sudan this week for further discussions with President Bashir and the Special Representative to the UN Secretary-General. We are also co-ordinating our approaches on this issue with our key international partners.
Mr. Hoon: We regularly raise Turkey's EU accession with EU counterparts and I have discussed this issue with a number of my EU colleagues since my visit to Ankara in September. My recent visits to Paris and Lisbon, on 2 and 4 October respectively are good examples.
Mr. Hoon: We strongly support Turkey's EU candidature and we were pleased to open EU accession negotiations with Turkey on 3 October 2005. Turkey and the EU agreed that the shared objective of these negotiations is accession and that advancement of the negotiations will be guided by Turkey's progress in preparing for membership. Turkey will need to demonstrate progress and implement its obligations to the EU, including the Ankara Agreement Protocol. We look forward to the European Commission's annual Progress Report, which is due to be published on 8 November.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions she has had with the government of Uganda about the International Criminal Court and Joseph Kony. 
Mr. McCartney: Our High Commissioner in Kampala called on President Museveni on 10 October to discuss a number of issues, including the Juba talks process between the Lord's Resistance Army and the government of Uganda. He made clear that the Government welcome the fact that the Ugandan government is maintaining a close dialogue with the International Criminal Court.
We continue to follow the Juba process closely. Whilst the government of Southern Sudan's mediation effort has made considerable progress, the truce reached on 26 August remains very fragile. We encourage all parties to show restraint, focus on implementing the agreements reached to date and find a solution which brings both peace and justice to the people of northern Uganda.
Mr. Hoon: Our embassy in Caracas has continuing dialogue with the Government of Venezuela on a variety of issues, bilaterally and as a member of the EU. They have discussed arms procurement, both in the context of the UK proposal for an arms trade treaty and more generally.
Mr. Hoon: We continually assess patterns of military procurement throughout the world and their implications. We monitor developments closely to better inform our own case-by-case consideration of UK export licence applications against the Consolidated EU and National Export Licensing Criteria. We also hold discussions on global military procurement with EU colleagues and other partners. This applies to the sale referred to by the hon. Member.
As with all arms transactions, we expect both Venezuela and Russia to exercise their right to military procurement and sales in a responsible and measured manner. It is in Venezuela's interest to preserve regional stability, militarily and otherwise.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the total value has been of (a) his Department's contracts held with and (b) payments and grants made by his Department to Bridges Community Ventures since May 2002. 
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