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Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports she has received of the arrest of Bangladeshi journalist Tasneem Khalil by security forces; and what representations the Government is making on due process in this case. 
We have consistently urged the caretaker government and the armed forces in Bangladesh to respect human rights and the rule of law. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary raised these issues with the Foreign Adviser on 19 April.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps have been
taken by the United Kingdom following UN Security Council Resolution 1747's designation of Iranian state-owned Bank Sepah and Bank Sepah International; and if she will make a statement. 
Bank Sepah Iran and Bank Sepah International (its UK subsidiary) were designated at the United Nations on 24 March 2007. Following the adoption of UNSCR 1747, their assets in the UK were frozen immediately under the terms of the UK's Iran (Financial Sanctions) Order 2007. The Bank of England, at the Treasury's direction, provided public notification of the sanctions via its website.
UNSCR 1737 provides that payments due to third parties under prior contracts (i.e. those concluded before the designation) are exempt from the asset freeze, where the relevant state has determined that the payments are not connected with proliferation or designated persons. The resolution also makes provision for the licensing of basic and extraordinary expenses, subject to UN approval.
The Treasury has been working to give effect to these provisions in a way that ensures that sanctions are applied robustly, while minimising the impact on innocent third parties. Having notified the UN, and, where appropriate, obtained its approval, on 17 April the Treasury issued a licence allowing Bank Sepah International to make routine payments, such as staff salaries or payment of suppliers. The licence included a number of safeguards to ensure no prohibited payments are made.
On 24 May, the Treasury issued a number of licences allowing Bank Sepah International to make payments under certain letters of credit issued by the bank prior to its designation and to certain high-value depositors, subject to safeguards.
On 31 May, HM Treasury granted a general licence authorising UK companies and individuals to receive payments due to them under prior contracts with branches of Bank Sepah in the European economic area, where these payments have been duly authorised by the competent authority in the EEA state concerned.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations she is making to the government of Botswana on its adherence to the 2006 High Court ruling to allow the Bushmen of the Kalahari to return to their ancestral homeland in the central Kalahari game reserve. 
We welcome the government of Botswana's early decision to accept the court's determination over the return of the San (bushmen) to the central Kalahari game reserve. We encourage them to take an inclusive approach to finding a sustainable solution to the future use of the CKGR through dialogue and negotiation with the San people. Our high
commission in Gaborone raised this most recently on 12 April. My right hon. Friend the Minister for Trade, Investment and Foreign Affairs, will also discuss this matter during his planned trip to Botswana from 7 to 8 June.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions she has had with (a) officials in the European Union and (b) the head of the delegation to Botswana, Mr. Paul Malin, on the treatment of the Kalahari bushmen by the Botswanan government. 
Mr. Hoon: Our high commission in Gaborone is in regular contact with EU colleagues, including the head of the EC delegation, Mr. Paul Malin, over this issue. EU representatives in Botswana have jointly held discussions with the government of Botswana on the treatment of the San (bushmen) people by the Botswana government and have developed a co-ordinated approach to this issue.
Julie Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions she has had with other European Foreign Ministers on the situation in Burma; and if she will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary and her EU colleagues issued a statement at the EU General Affairs and External Relations Council meeting in Luxembourg on 23 April expressing their deep concern over the situation in Burma. My right hon. Friend the Minister for Trade, Investment and Foreign Affairs joined EU Ministers and Asian counterparts in issuing a further statement about Burma at the Asia/Europe Foreign Ministers meeting in Hamburg on 29 May.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether Burma will be included in the trade agreement being negotiated between the EU and ASEAN; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Hoon: Burma will not benefit from the proposed EU-Association of South East Asian Nations free trade agreement under its current regime. The mandate to negotiate the FTA was agreed by the EU at the 23 April General Affairs and External Relations Council. The UK and like-minded member states were instrumental in securing language within the Council conclusions and the mandate which will have the effect of excluding Burma from the EU/ASEAN FTA.
Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many staff in each UK mission in each of the five central Asian republics are dedicated to commercial activity. 
Mr. Hoon: There are currently around three staff (full-time equivalents) dealing with commercial matters in Kazakhstan. There are no staff engaged on UK trade and investment work in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan or Turkmenistan.
Willie Rennie: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions she has had with her Chinese counterpart on human rights in China; and if she will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: We regularly raise human rights with the Chinese government, including at the highest levels. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary raised a number of human rights concerns during her visit to China in May, where she again met with Chinese Premier Wen and also with the newly appointed Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi. My right hon. Friend the Minister for Trade, Investment and Foreign Affairs, raised human rights in his introductory meeting with the new Chinese ambassador at the end of May.
Mr. Burrowes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what position the Government plans to take on the review of the European Unions common position on Cuba; and whether it expects to seek to maintain existing sanctions against the Cuban government. 
Mr. Hoon: The UKs policy towards Cuba, which is shared with our EU partners, is set out in the EU common position of 1996. The main objective of the common position is to encourage a peaceful transition to pluralist democracy in Cuba. We continue to be committed to a twin-track approach to dialogue with Cuba; engaging both government and civil society.
The UK is maintaining a close dialogue with EU partners ahead of the review of the EU common position later this month. We have been monitoring closely developments in the political and human rights situation in Cuba over the last year. We will take this into account in the forthcoming review of the common position.
The diplomatic measures taken by the EU in 2003, in response to human rights violations in Cuba, have been suspended since January 2005 and will also be reviewed later this month, when we will seek to ensure, along with our EU partners, that the EU responds proportionately to the current human right situation in Cuba.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many times her Department was found to have been in breach of the Data Protection Act 1998 in each of the last five years; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Hoon: Depending on their nature, breaches by Government Departments of the Data Protection Act 1998 can be dealt with by the Information Commissioner, the courts or by Departments at an informal local level. The information requested is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Margaret Beckett: The amount spent by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on legal fees in respect of counsel and solicitors in private practice by way of disbursements through the Treasury Solicitor, the bulk of our external legal costs, in each of the past five years is as follows:
Mr. Hoon: The following amounts were raised from the sale of Foreign and Commonwealth Office property in each of the last five financial years. 100 per cent. of the FCOs estate sales receipts have been reinvested in the estate since 2005-06:
|Financial year||Total sale receipts|
|(1) Sale of properties until 31 December 2006.|
Mr. Hoon: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has service level agreements with other Government Departments that set out the basis on which it charges for accommodation and related services at our posts overseas. Where appropriate, iwe also sign separate leases covering individual lettings under the general terms of the SLAs. There are also cases when we grant leases to individual tenants.
|Financial year||Costs identified from leasing agreements (£)|
In addition to the figures in the table, the FCO recovered £713,000 from other Government Departments in capital and depreciation charges in lieu of rent for property lettings in financial year 2005-06. Details of the amounts recovered in the previous four years are not held centrally and to calculate them would incur disproportionate cost.
Mr. Hoon: The following table details the number of properties owned and rented centrally by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office over the last five financial years. Details on locally leased staff houses and flats are not included. These are locally leased by posts and compiling the information would incur disproportionate cost.
|Financial Year||2002 - 03||2003 - 04||2004 - 05||2005 - 06||2006 - 07|
Owned includes freehold and ground leasehold properties;
Rented includes operating leases and loaned properties;
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