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serious concern about the general increase in executions in Iran.
On 29 May, the EU raised specific concerns about the use of the juvenile death penalty. On 20 November, the EU presidency raised our concerns about the imminent execution of 10 men in Ahwaz, and reiterated the EUs longstanding objection to the death penalty in all circumstances.
We also raise our concerns about the death penalty in international fora. On 18 October, the EU presidency made a statement on human rights at the United Nations General Assembly Third Committee, which highlighted Iran as one of the few countries where minors are sentenced to death and executed. All EU member states sponsored a draft resolution on human rights in Iran at this years UN General Assembly expressing serious concern at
the continuing of public executions, including multiple public executions, and, on a large scale, other executions in the absence of respect for internationally recognized safeguards
in particular, deplores the execution of persons who were under the age of 18 at the time their offence was committed.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on what dates since March 2003 (a) the UK's Ambassador to Iraq and (b) her officials have met International Tax and Investment Centre representatives; what subjects were discussed; and if she will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: Our ambassador in Baghdad has held no meetings with International Tax and Investment Centre (ITIC) representatives since March 2003. Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials met with ITIC officials on 30 September 2004, 24 January 2006 and 29 June 2006, where they discussed recent ITIC reports and ITIC's forthcoming seminars on the Iraqi oil sector.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether reports produced by the International Tax and Investment Centre have been forwarded by (a) the UKs ambassador to Iraq and (b) her office to (i) Ministers in the Iraqi Government and (ii) the Coalition Provisional Authority since March 2003; and if she will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: No reports produced by the International Tax and Investment Centre have been passed by either our ambassador in Baghdad or by officials to Ministers in the Iraqi Government or to the Coalition Provisional Authority since March 2003.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if she will publish the records her Department holds on (a) the heavy water transfer and (b) the supply of (i) plutonium, (ii) uranium-235, (iii) beryllium and (iv) lithium-6 to Israel via Norway in the 1960s. 
Dr. Howells: I can confirm that there have been a number of files released about UK involvement in heavy water transfer; and the supply of plutonium, uranium-235, beryllium and lithium-6, which have been declassified since 1988, and are now held at the Public Records Office at Kew. Declassification of further material is considered on a case by case basis.
Margaret Beckett: We remain concerned at the security situation in the Gaza Strip. We are gravely disturbed by the deaths of Palestinian and Israeli civilians. We have repeatedly raised our deep concern over casualties and civilian suffering on both sides in recent months with the Government of Israel and President Abbas. We urge the Israeli military to do everything in its power to avoid civilian casualties. We have repeatedly raised our concerns with the Government of Israel. We have also raised our concerns about the firing of Qassam rockets at Israeli towns with President Abbas. We welcome his call for the firing of these rockets to stop.
Margaret Beckett: Since Hamas came to power earlier this year, progress on security sector reform has slowed. We continue to support the work of US Security Co-ordinator General Dayton and other security missions in Gaza. General Dayton has been particularly focused on securing the reliable opening of the Kami crossing point between Israel and Gaza. The detail of his proposals has not yet been finalised. When the plans have been agreed with the parties, we expect them to be endorsed by the Quartet.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the recent proposal from Spain,
France and Italy for a peace initiative by the EU on the Israel/Palestine question; and if she will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: We are keen to make progress towards a lasting and just peace in Israel and the occupied territories. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has made advancing the middle east peace process a UK priority. We are discussing the ideas put forward at Gerona with international partners.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions she has had with the Foreign Ministers of Spain, France and Italy regarding the Spanish initiative for the Middle East Peace Process prior to 17 November; and what the outcome was of these discussions. 
Margaret Beckett: I did not discuss the initiative, but did discuss the Middle East at the General Affairs and External Relations Council. We are discussing the ideas that were put forward in Gerona with our EU partners.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what her assessment is of the Middle East peace initiative announced by Spain on 17 November; and if she will make a statement. 
Margaret Beckett: We are keen to make progress towards a lasting and just peace in Israel and the Occupied Territories. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister and I have made advancing the Middle East Peace Process a UK priority and we are discussing this initiative with partners.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the recent Nepalese peace accord signed by Prime Minister Koirala and rebel leader Pranchanda. 
It is now vital that both sides accept the responsibility placed upon them by the people of Nepal and the international community to ensure that this agreement leads to a sustainable peace and better future for all. Essential to any lasting peace, is the need for all parties to the agreement to respect and uphold the rule of law. We have called for an end to impunity and stated clearly our view that there can be no place in today's Nepal for abductions, extortion and political violence.
We have encouraged all signatories to the agreement to continue their efforts to build consensus and work together with the UN as Nepal moves towards a new government with free and fair elections. The UK has played a significant role in helping drive the peace process to this stage and we stand ready to help the people of Nepal to move further towards a stable and peaceful future for their country.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many British citizens were detained in prisons abroad in the most recent period for which information is available, broken down by country. 
Dr. Howells: On 30 September 2006, British consular officials were aware of 2,421 British nationals detained in overseas prisons. The breakdown by country is shown as follows. These figures, which are the most recent definitive figures we have, include detainees on remand, as well as those serving custodial sentences.
|Country||Number of detainees|
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