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15. Mr. Scott: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations she has made to the Governments of Iran and Syria on the implementation of UN Resolution 1701. 
Dr. Howells: The Government continue to be deeply concerned at the involvement of Syria and Iran in Lebanon, and in particular with their ongoing support for Hizbollah. We have repeatedly called on Syria and Iran to stop their support for Hizbollah and their interference in Lebanese internal affairs in accordance with UN Security Council Resolutions 1559,1680 and 1701.
16. Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations she has made to the Government of India about UK jobs being transferred to India. 
None. However UK companies must decide how they should maintain competitiveness.
We should also recognise that India is now the third largest foreign direct investor into the UK. When I visit India later this week I will encourage further similar Indian investment.
Dr. Howells: The political situation in Iraq is extremely challenging and sectarian violence a serious concern. The Iraqi Government are implementing security measures and building national reconciliation through dialogue with armed groups, politicians, clerics and civil society.
This is a very difficult process and progress has been slower than we hoped. Armed groups continue their attacks to divide communities and maintain the cycle of violence. It is vital that we continue to robustly support the Government.
18. Mr. David: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions the Minister for Europe has had with Members of the European Parliament on the co-decision procedure. 
Margaret Beckett: My right hon. Friend the Minister for Europe, discusses a full range of EU issues with Members of the European Parliament. The co-decision procedure features in these discussions as appropriate, and, of course, there are a number of important dossiers subject to the co-decision procedure, such as the Services Directive, which have also been raised with EP colleagues.
I visited Colombia and Venezuela this month to discuss combating the flow of cocaine to the UK. I emphasised the importance we place on co-operating with regional partners to tackle the problem in supplier and consumer countries.
Margaret Beckett: I have spoken to the US Secretary of State on a number of occasions over the last few months on handling North Korea, including in the wake of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea's claimed nuclear test. We agreed that the test was a clear threat to international peace and security and that there must be a robust response from the UN Security Council.
Margaret Beckett: The multiple missile launches carried out by North Korea on 4 and 5 July included short range Scud, medium range No-Dong missiles, and a failed test of a Taepo-Dong II missile Intercontinental Ballistic Missile/Satellite Launch Vehicle. As a result of these missile launches, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1695 which demanded
that the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea suspend all activities related to its ballistic missile programme, and in this context re-establish its pre-existing commitments to a moratorium on missile launching.
UN Security Resolution 1718 of 14 October, following North Koreas claimed nuclear test on 9 October, underlined that resolution. We have no new information on the development of North Koreas missile programme, but we cannot rule out any further tests by them.
Mr. Hoon: North Korea's claim of a nuclear test on 9 October has only added to our concerns over its nuclear programme, which came to the fore following North Korea's expulsion of the International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors in December 2002 and its statement of intention to withdraw from the non-proliferation treaty (NPT) in January 2003. Its actions jeopardise regional stability in North-East Asia and pose a clear threat to international peace and security. We welcome the measures set out in UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1718 and we will report back to the Security Council, by 13 December, on how we intend to implement them.
North Korea's test contravenes its commitments under the NPT, breaches the North-South Joint Declaration on the Denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, and ignores UNSCR 1695. It also runs counter to the spirit of the September 2005 Declaration to which North Korea has signed up.
My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary spoke to Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing on 9 and 13 October, following the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's nuclear test.
Both agreed that the test was a threat to international peace and security and of the need for a robust response from the UN Security Council.
In addition, the Government are in regular contact with other senior members of the Chinese Government on this issue. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister met Jia Qinglin, Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Committee, in London on 24 October. My right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister met State Councillor Tang Jiaxuan in Beijing on 27 October. In both meetings, the UK and Chinese sides agreed on the importance of implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1718 and of seeking North Korea's urgent return to the six-party talks on denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.
Dr. Howells: The spread of nuclear weapons in the Middle East would pose a serious threat to the region's stability and security. We remain deeply concerned about Iran's nuclear programme. Iran has not taken the steps required by International Atomic Energy Agency Board or Security Council Resolutions. These are essential to build confidence that the intentions of its nuclear programme are exclusively peaceful.
Dr. Howells: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Development travelled to Sudan on 16 October to see the security situation in Darfur first-hand. He met with President Bashir to press Sudan for an immediate end to fighting to accept a UN force; meanwhile to co-operate fully with the African Union Mission in Sudan; to bring the non-signatories on board the Darfur Peace Agreement; and allow full humanitarian access to Darfur.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 25 July 2006, Official Report, column 1271W, on Afghanistan, what assessment she has made of the effect of the UKs counter-narcotics activities in Afghanistan. 
As Afghanistans partner nation on counter-narcotics the UK is spending £270 million over three years in support of the Afghan National Drug Control Strategy. This years increase in opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan is very disappointing and reflects the difficult security situation and limited law enforcement capability in some provinces particularly in the south. However, the cultivation picture varies between, and within provinces, and in
some areas where access to governance, security and development has improved, reductions achieved last year have been sustained and in some cases fallen. This is encouraging and shows that the strategy is working. Progress is also being made in other areas. Vital counter-narcotics legislation was passed last December; over 280 traffickers have been convicted to date; and a high security prison for serious drug offenders has been constructed in Kabul. To support alternative livelihoods over 12 million labour days have been provided; 8,800 km of roads rehabilitated, and US$187million in small grants and US$90 million in micro-finance loans have been disbursed.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what account she plans to take of the opium production reducing operations in the Golden Triangle in formulating counter-narcotics policy in Afghanistan. 
Margaret Beckett: Experience in the Golden Triangle demonstrates the need to adopt a comprehensive and long-term approach to counter narcotics in order to have a sustainable impact on the drugs trade. In developing its National Drug Control Strategy, the Afghan Government have had regular contact with the Thai authorities, whose holistic opium reduction strategy is considered to be one of the most successful in the world. The Thai strategy focuses on law enforcement, building infrastructure to support development, providing alternative livelihoods and demand reduction. Similarly the Afghan National Drug Control Strategy, which the UK supports, reflects these key priorities. However, sustainable drug elimination strategies take time, particularly when the challenges are as severe as they are in Afghanistan. In Thailand, where the problem was much less complex, cultivation increased before the strategy took effect and it took 30 years to achieve a sustainable solution.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been made by the Helmand Provincial Reconstruction Team in delivering political, development and military assistance to the province. 
Margaret Beckett: The UK's Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Helmand is focused on developing Afghan local capacity in development, security and governance, and is helping administer the £20 million the UK has pledged towards the province's reconstruction this financial year. Since the UK took over the PRT in May we have seen early progress on these three fronts, with PRT officials delivering valuable assistance in a challenging environment.
Development is necessarily a long-term activity. However, the PRT, in close co- ordination with local and national Government, is laying the foundations for lasting reconstruction. To this end, in the past six months the PRT has implemented a number of quick impact projects. These include construction of windmill powered wells in Lashkar Gah, Garmser and Nad-Ali; construction of schools in Nahri Sarj, Now Zad and Lashkar Gah; urgent water infrastructure works in Lashkar Gah; and emergency food distribution across southern Helmand. The Royal
Engineer regiment based in the PRT is playing a key role in delivering this development assistance across the province.
On security, the PRT has undertaken projects to strengthen and reorganise the Helmand police force. In addition the Royal Engineers, at the request of the provincial Government, have undertaken projects aimed at strengthening the security infrastructure in Lashkar Gah. These include the construction of vehicle checkpoints and Afghan national police outposts around Lashkar Gah. On governance, PRT officials are working with Helmand's provincial Government to strengthen provincial-level democracy. The PRT have helped the Provincial Development Committee prioritise its efforts in line with national plans, enabling Afghan-led reconstruction efforts to get off the ground. The PRT continues to provide vital support to the Administration.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many members of the Helmand Provincial Reconstruction Team have been deployed in the province in each quarter since 2005; how many are currently deployed in the province; and if she will make a statement. 
Margaret Beckett: The UK assumed command of the Helmand Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in May 2006. Since then the UK has had approximately 100 troops deployed to the PRT, in addition to 16 civilian staff from the UK and other partners. Exact quarterly figures are not available.
In addition, the UK also has a regional co-ordinator for its activity in southern Afghanistan based in Kandahar and a representative from the Department for International Development currently in Kabul with responsibility for Helmand. The latter is expected to rejoin the PRT in Lashkar Gah shortly.
Margaret Beckett: The Counter Narcotics Trust Fund (CNTF) was created by the Afghan Government to mobilise international donor support for Afghan counter narcotics programmes. The fund is managed by the UN Development Programme. By bringing funding onto the Afghan budget the CNTF will build Afghan counter narcotics capacity, planning and resource transparency. At present, expenditure on alternative livelihoods, implemented through existing national development programmes, is a top priority for the CNTF. However, CNTF funding can also be channelled into other counter narcotics activities including law enforcement and criminal justice activity. A total of US$83.6 million has so far been raised for the CNTF. The UK will channel £30 million into the fund over a three-year period. Other contributors include Australia, Canada, Estonia, the European Commission, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Oman, Sweden and USA.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if she will make a statement on progress made by the Counter Narcotics Criminal Justice Task Force in Afghanistan. 
Margaret Beckett: The Counter Narcotics Criminal Justice Task Force (CJTF), consisting of Afghan investigators, prosecutors and judges, was established to work with the counter narcotics police of Afghanistan (CNPA) to conduct drugs prosecutions involving 2kg or more of heroin, morphine or cocaine; 10kg or more of opium; and 50kg of hashish or other controlled drugs. There are currently 84 specially trained members of the CJTF. According to CJTF figures, by the end of September 2006, they had arrested over 690 individuals and completed over 260 cases. This has so far resulted in over 280 convictions. The longest sentence conferred to date is 18 years.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the book Diplomatic Baggage by Brigid Keenan was vetted and approved by her Department before publication. 
Margaret Beckett: Brigid Keenan has never been a member of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Diplomatic Service, nor has her husband. The book was neither submitted to, nor vetted by, my Department.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the Entity of Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik's calls for a referendum on the Entity's secession from Bosnia-Herzegovina; and if she will make a statement. 
Margaret Beckett: Recent calls for a referendum on secession for the Republika Srpska by Prime Minister Milorad Dodik as part of the election campaign are anti-Dayton, unconstitutional and unacceptable. We have emphasised that the Dayton Accords remain the basis for sovereignty, which clearly established the Republika Srpska as an entity within the sovereign state of Bosnia and Herzegovina. My right hon. Friend the Minister for Europe raised this issue most recently when he met Prime Minister Milorad Dodik on 25 July.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans there are for closing down the Office of the High Representative in Bosnia-Herzegovina; and if she will make a statement. 
Margaret Beckett: At its meeting on 22-23 June 2006, the Steering Board of the Peace Implementation Council agreed that the Office of the High Representative in Bosnia-Herzegovina should begin preparations to close on 30 June 2007. This decision will be subject to final review and confirmation in February 2007, to take into account the domestic and regional situations before closure goes ahead.
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