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Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations she has made to the Government of Nigeria on the recent murder of a school teacher in Gombe City; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. McCartney: We have not made representations to the Nigerian Government about the tragic killing of the teacher in Gombe. However, our high commission in Abuja has asked a leading Nigerian inter-faith group to make inquiries about the incident and brief them on their findings. It is important that the incident is also properly investigated by the appropriate Nigerian authorities. Through the high commission in Abuja we are sponsoring work by civil society organisations to promote inter-faith dialogue and prevent incidents of this kind.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment she has made of religious freedom in Northern Nigeria; and what steps she has taken to work with the Nigerian Government on minimising the likelihood of religious freedom abuses in the future. 
Mr. McCartney: There are tensions and frequent clashes between Christians and Muslims in northern Nigeria, and regular reports of discrimination, mainly against Christians. Religion is the pretext for most clashes, but many Nigerian religious leaders acknowledge that the root causes often lie in struggles for political power, scarce resources and ethnic dominance at local level.
Through our high commission in Abuja we are actively supporting projects to address religious tensions in northern Nigeria, as part of our efforts to prevent conflict and promote human rights in Nigeria as a whole. This includes the funding of training for police and magistrates in the humane application of Sharia law, and the work of non-governmental organisations to establish local early warning and conflict prevention mechanisms. Federal authorities and Government agencies, such as the Nigerian Police Force, are involved in these activities where appropriate, as are state Governments and senior religious leaders.
Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the UK position is on the legality of (a) marketing in the UK and (b) purchasing from the UK property for sale in settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories which are deemed illegal according to international law; and what advice the Government give to British companies and organisations on the legal status of such transactions. 
Mr. Hoon: We regard all settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories as illegal under international law and have repeatedly raised our concerns about settlement activity with the Israeli Government. The Government do not advise or encourage companies and organisations to market or sell property in the settlements, however it is not unlawful to do so under UK law.
Dr. Starkey: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what the UK position is on the purchasing in the UK of property in settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories which are deemed illegal according to international law; and if she will make a statement; 
(2) if she will make a statement on the UK position on the legality of marketing in the UK property in settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories which are deemed illegal according to international law. 
Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations her Department has (a) made to the Government of the Philippines and (b) received on extra-judicial killings of political activists; what discussions she has had with counterparts in the EU on human rights abuses in the Philippines; and if she will make a statement. 
We continue to be concerned about extra-judicial killings in the Philippines. We have urged the Philippine Government to address the problem, including through the appropriate involvement of the international community. In this regard, we welcomed the visit by Philip Alston, the UN special rapporteur on extra-judicial killings, to the Philippines in February and will encourage the Philippine Government to follow Professor Alstons recommendations. In August 2006, President Arroyo appointed a special commission to investigate the killings. The Melo Commission, headed by ex-Supreme Court Justice Jose Melo, concluded its investigations and produced a report of its findings in February. President Arroyo recently extended the tenure of the Melo Commission until June 2007, after which the Philippine Commission on Human Rights will investigate the issue further. President Arroyo has made a request to the EU to
provide technical assistance for the investigation of extra-judicial killings. We will look at this positively. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has received letters from members of the public and hon. Members, as well as some parliamentary questions, about extra-judicial killings. On 21 March, the UK raised the issue at a European Council working group meeting for Oceania and Asia affairs.
Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which UK diplomatic missions (a) hosted and (b) did not host parties to celebrate HM The Queens birthday in 2006. 
|Countries with resident ambassadors where an official Queens birthday party did not take place in 2006|
|Countries where celebrations took place in 2006|
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