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2 Mar 2007 : Column 1615W—continued

Somalia: Peace Keeping Operations

Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the UK is providing support to the African Union stabilisation force for Somalia; and if she will make a statement. [122951]

Mr. Hoon: We strongly support the proposed African Union (AU) stabilisation mission for Somalia. We therefore welcome the unanimous adoption of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1744,
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sponsored by the UK, on 20 February 2007 which authorises the mission, as well as reiterating the need for a reconciliation and political process in Somalia, and permitting support to the Transitional Federal Government and Institutions to develop their own security sector. We commend the AU for taking on this mission and are grateful to those countries that have so far offered to contribute personnel to the mission.

In addition to advisory support to the AU through our representation to the AU, based in our embassy in Addis Ababa, we are considering a significant financial contribution in this financial year to help fund the cost of the mission. We will consider further support as detailed plans for the mission develop.

Venezuela: Food

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what report she has received on the proposal by the Venezuelan authorities to allow officials to take control of food distribution. [124060]

Mr. Hoon: We are aware that the Venezuelan authorities have talked of giving greater control of food supply to officials. Any such proposals appear at an early stage of development.

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