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Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations her Department has received from the United States Government on the Governments decision to suspend the Serious Fraud Office inquiry into the Al-Yamamah deal; when those representations were received; and if she will make a statement. 
Margaret Beckett: US officials participated fully in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Working Group on Bribery discussions on 16-18 January and 12-14 March. On 19 January the Economic Counsellor from the US embassy met with Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials and registered American concerns about the Serious Fraud Offices decision. In the meeting it was made clear that the decision to discontinue the investigation was taken by the Serious Fraud Office Director alone on considerations of national and international security.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment she has made of (a) the numbers of African Union troops deployed in Somalia and (b) the impact of that deployment on the security situation in the country. 
Margaret Beckett: The African Union (AU) mission to Somalia (AMISOM) currently has about 1,700 Ugandan troops deployed to Somalia. The UK is working closely with international partners to seek to increase the number of AMISOM troops from other AU countries.
AMISOM was authorised by UN Security Council Resolution 1744, which was sponsored by the UK and adopted unanimously on 20 February. The troops currently deployed are playing an important part in ensuring stability in the parts of Mogadishu and Baidoa in which they are operating. We judge that AMISOM has a crucial role to play in creating the security conditions that would enable a fuller withdrawal of Ethiopian troops from Somalia.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what support is being provided by (a) the UK and (b) the EU to the African Union AMISOM force in Somalia; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. McCartney: The Government believe it is vital that a successful African Union (AU) Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) deployment ensures lasting stability in Somalia. The UK has offered planning, and logistical, support for a Somalia planning cell within the AUs Peace and Security Operations Division in Addis Ababa. The UK has also offered planning, logistical and financial assistance direct to troop contributing countries, including £1.3million to Uganda.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what requests have been received by the UK from the African Union (AU) for NATO air transport support for AU troops in Somalia; and if she will make a statement. 
Margaret Beckett: The UK has not been approached directly by the African Union (AU) in connection with requests for NATO air transport support for AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) troops in Somalia. We understand that the AU has made a request to NATO in connection with air transport support. The UK will wish to support NATO on this issue where we can.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the role of the Africa Conflict Prevention Pool is in relation to the conflict in Darfur; and if she will make a statement. 
The UK is a leading supporter of the African Union (AU) Mission in Sudan (AMIS) and we have committed over £10 million of bilateral assistance through the ACPP. This funding has been used to pay for vehicles and rapid deployment kits for AMIS personnel. The ACPP has also provided funding for UK military training teams based in Africa to support pre-deployment training for approximately 4,000 AMIS peacekeepers drawn from Nigeria, Rwanda, Ghana and Gambia. A further £62 million of bilateral support for AMIS has been committed through the peacekeeping budget.
In addition, over £600,000 of ACPP funds were used to provide budgetary support for the AUs efforts to broker a political settlement through the Inter-Sudanese Peace Talks on Darfur in Abuja, which led to the signing of the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA). The
ACPP has subsequently funded work to help the AU explain the benefits of the DPA to the people of Darfur, and for an expert to support the AU in preparing the Darfur-Darfur Dialogue and Consultation. We stand ready to support a secretariat to the AU and UN mediators who have prepared a roadmap for taking forward the political process.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the trend of attacks on civilians in the eastern part of Southern Kordofan, Sudan, since January 2007; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. McCartney: We are concerned about the deterioration in security over recent months in South Kordofan. This appears to be caused by the lack of progress in implementing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in the region, exacerbated by local problems over land use and migratory routes. We are also concerned about previous incidents of violence in Kordofan by Darfur rebels and the further risk that the conflict in Darfur could spill over into Kordofan.
As Southern Kordofan is one of the Three Areas under the CPA, we are monitoring the situation there through the Assessment and Evaluation Committee that oversees the implementation of the CPA. We have also made it clear to the Darfur rebels that it is unacceptable to spread this conflict into Kordofan.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of Syrian compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 1701; and if she will make a statement. 
Margaret Beckett: In March, the UN Secretary-General reported that there was mounting evidence that Hezbollah was rearming and smuggling arms across the Syria/Lebanon border in breach of UN Security Council resolution (UNSCR) 1701. I will arrange for a copy of his report to be placed in the Library of the House, it as also available on the UN website at http://www.un.org/Docs/sc/sgrep07.htm While the UN Secretary-Generals report did not specifically identify the supplier of these arms, we continue to judge that Syria is involved in providing Hezbollah with weapons as well as facilitating the transfer of weapons from Iran in breach of UNSCR 1701. This is a serious concern.
The UK continues to work to ensure the full implementation of UNSCR 1701. We are working to improve Lebanese border-monitoring capability through a bilateral programme of assistance, support to a German-led initiative and work through the UN.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 19 March 2007, Official Report, column 600W, on Zimbabwe: human rights, what steps have been taken by the EU to engage with southern African
Governments on the situation in Zimbabwe; and what the outcome has been of these steps. 
Margaret Beckett: The situation in Zimbabwe continues to deteriorate with economic, political and social indicators worsening by the week. On behalf of the EU the presidency, through its Ambassadors or local representatives, has engaged directly with governments in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region to express the EUs concern at human rights abuses within Zimbabwe, which many African Governments share. The EU troika held a formal dialogue with South Africa on 14 May at which Ministers discussed Zimbabwe. Both sides agreed that meaningful internal dialogue in Zimbabwe is crucial to the resolution of the crisis. The EU troika met with the African Union (AU) delegation at ministerial level on 15 May. The AU noted its continuing support for the SADC initiative and President Mbekis role. The EU awaits the outcome of this initiative with interest and will return to the situation in Zimbabwe at the UN Human Rights Council in September, following the EU statement in March condemning state-sponsored violence. The UK will continue to ensure that opportunities available at EU level are taken to raise the deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe and to highlight the EU's condemnation of ongoing political violence and human rights abuses.
Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the UK Government are taking to press the EU to extend its 2002 sanctions to the family members and business associates of those members of the Zimbabwean government already subject to EU sanctions. 
Mr. McCartney: The EU visa ban list already includes a number of Robert Mugabes family members, who hold positions in the Zimbabwean Government. We do not intend at present to press for the inclusion of all family members of those principals on the EU visa ban list. Where we receive sufficient and accurate information concerning the presence of those children and family members in the UK, we actively investigate the sources of financing for their study and presence to see whether it breaches the terms of the asset freeze under the EUs targeted measures. We will do the same with known business associates.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 29 November 2006, Official Report, column 789W, on audiology services, what steps she plans to take to ensure that the planned additional audiology patient pathways are provided. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis:
Strategic health authorities (SHAs) have provided assurance that their activity plans for 2007-08 will deliver the 18-week milestones including six-week maximum waits for all diagnostic tests by
March 2008. SHAs have generally taken the view that they can achieve the necessary reductions in audiology waiting times with a modest procurement of additional independent sector capacity.
The SHAs are confident that the remaining capacity can be found through a combination of more efficient use of existing capacity, extra investment in NHS-provided services and the roll out of the one-stop assessment and fit service model, all of which should have a substantial impact, as set out in ,Improving Access to Audiology. Services in England, copies of which are available in the Library.
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if she will release all remaining documents from those which were rediscovered by her Department referred to in the Review of Documentation relating to the Safety of Blood Products 1970 to 1985 before the end of the inquiry chaired by Lord Archer into contaminated blood and blood products; and if she will make a statement; 
(2) how many of the documents rediscovered by her Department referred to in the Review of Documentation relating to the Safety of Blood Products 1970 to 1985 relate to the period after 1985; and if she will make a statement. 
Caroline Flint: The review identifies that 20.5 per cent. of papers have been categorised as relating to self sufficiency. The focus of the review was 1970-85, and 90 per cent. of the documents related to this time period, just under 10 per cent. fell outside this timeline.
Lord Archer has been advised that the Department will release all papers identified in the review, in line with the Freedom of Information Act. The papers will be released to Lord Archers inquiry as quickly as possible, in batches on a monthly basis.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the merits of the provision of photodynamic therapy for cancer on the NHS; and what estimate she has made of the cost implications of the provision of such treatment. 
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 12 June 2007]: As part of its programme of work on interventional procedures, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has issued guidance on the use of photodynamic therapy (PDT) in the treatment of several cancers.
NICE has stated that PDT for the treatment of Barretts oesophagus, advanced bronchial carcinoma, endobronchial carcinoma, bile duct cancer and skin tumours is safe and works well enough for use in the national health service, provided normal arrangements are in place for consent, audit and clinical governance.
NICE has also issued guidance on the use of PDT for early stage oesophageal cancer, stating that current evidence on PDT for the treatment of this disease is not adequate to support its use without special arrangements for consent, audit and clinical governance.
Michael Jabez Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many applications for continuing care assessments were made in (a) 2004, (b) 2005 and (c) 2006; and what proportion were (i) agreed and (ii) declined in each health authority in England. 
|Strategic health authority||Number of people receiving continuing care||Number of people newly meeting eligibility criteria for continuing care|
In 2003-04, not all primary care trusts (PCTs) submitted data, the England figure quoted above includes estimates for those PCTs which did not submit data.
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