|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Jim Murphy: Any agreement on the future of the closed town of Varosha and the ongoing division of the island is only likely to be resolved through a comprehensive settlement acceptable to both sides and brokered by the UN. We continue to urge both sides to show the political will and flexibility to bridge the gap between words and deeds, and to engage constructively with the UNs efforts to broker a comprehensive and durable settlement.
Dr. Vis: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Mayor of Famagusta Mr. Alexis Galanos on his campaign to see the full reopening of the town of Famagusta; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials have met with the Mayor of Famagusta in both Cyprus and the UK and received details of his campaign. My right hon. Friend the Member for Enfield, North (Joan Ryan), in her role as Special Representative to Cyprus, also met Alexis Galanos during her recent visit to Cyprus, In their discussions, they emphasised the importance of a UN process leading to a comprehensive and durable settlement of benefit to all Cypriots.
Dan Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what contingency preparations his Department made for the possibility of a general election in autumn 2007; and what the costs were of those preparations. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: I refer the hon. Member to the reply my right hon. Friend the Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Edward Miliband) gave to him on 15 October 2007, Official Report, columns 822-23W.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many websites his Department operates; how many it operated at 1 January 2005; and what the estimated annual cost has been of running his Departments websites in the last five years. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: As at the end of August 2007, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office had responsibility for 220 websites under five main Uniform Resource Locators; www.fco.gov.uk, www.britishembassy.gov.uk: www.britishhighcommission.gov.uk; www.ukvisas.gov.uk; www.i-UK.com. At 1 January 2005 the department operated 202 websites, including foreign language versions. The estimated annual cost over the last five years to run these websites is £700,000.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many hits the (a) most popular and (b) least popular website run by his Department has received since 1 January 2007. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: The Foreign and Commonwealth Offices most popular website since January 2007 has been www.fco.gov.uk, which received 7,060,766 visitors. The least popular website has been Vanuatus Post website, with 764 visitors.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the total estimated annual cost is of (a) expenses, (b) salary, (c) office space, (d) administrative support and (e) special advisers for the Minister of State for Africa, Asia and the UN. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: The estimated annual cost of the office space for my noble Friend the Minister for Africa, Asia and the UN, Lord Malloch-Brown, is £50,967.10, similar to that incurred in the previous year. This figure includes management fees, business rates, tax and the cost of utilities. Based on average earnings, the estimated cost of administrative support, which is the combined salaries of five staff, is £192,581. Administrative costs for the previous year are estimated at £186,322.
Details of ministerial salaries are available in the Library of the House and at: http://wwwcivil service.gov.uk/other/parliamentary/pay/ministerial/index.asp. The Minister does not have a special adviser.
Like all Foreign and Commonwealth Office Ministers, Lord Malloch-Brown will have travel and other expenses associated with performing his ministerial duties. Since 1999, the Government have published on an annual basis, a list of all overseas visits by Cabinet Ministers costing in excess of £500, as well as the total cost of all ministerial travel overseas. Copies of the lists are available in the Library of the House. All travel is undertaken in accordance with the Civil Service Management Code and the Ministerial Code.
Mr. Jim Murphy: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) does not maintain central records of total annual expenditure on hospitality across the FCO and UK missions overseas. To collate this information would incur disproportionate cost.
Government Hospitality, Protocol Directorate, spent approximately £588,000 in total in the year October 2006 to 30 September 2007. Government Hospitality funds and arranges formal ministerial hospitality for all Government Departments. Although the FCO is the largest single user of the service (and budget) it accounts for around 30 per cent. of the total annual spend.
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the (a) near cash and (b) non-cash administration cost limit for his Department is for financial years 2008-09 to 2010-11. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: The information requested is set out at table B15 of Meeting the aspirations of the British people: 2007 pre-Budget report and Comprehensive Spending Review (Cm 7227), copies of which are in the Library of the House. Separate near- and non-cash limits for administration budgets are not specified as HM Treasury control limits.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many staff in UK embassies have been seconded from outside Government; from which company or outside body each has been seconded; and to which embassy each secondment has taken place. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: We have no staff working in Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) positions overseas who have been seconded from outside Government. Various categories of locally recruited non-Government personnel work at FCO premises overseas in support functions, under both contractual and non-contractual arrangements. We do not hold central records for them and could not compile data about them without incurring disproportionate cost.
Stephen Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Stroud (Mr. Drew) of 10 September 2007, Official Report, column 2005W, whether the Government has received the UN assessment teams appraisal of the situation in the Ogaden region of Ethiopia; and if he will make a statement. 
We welcome the Ethiopian government's acceptance of the UN assessment teams appraisal and look forward to co-operation between the Ethiopian government and the UN to implement its findings. We expect this to lead to an improvement in the humanitarian and security situation in the region.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made in the case of the Ethiopian anti-poverty campaigners Daniel Bekele and Netsanet Demissie, who are currently in gaol. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: We have raised the case of Daniel Bekele and Netsanet Demissie with the Ethiopian Government on numerous occasions. Most recently my noble Friend the Minister for Africa, Asia and the UN, Lord Malloch-Brown, raised it with the Ethiopian ambassador to London on 23 August and again with the Ethiopian Foreign Minister in the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York on 27 September.
On 9 October, the presiding judge adjourned the trial until 22 November to consider both sides concluding remarks. We will continue to press the Ethiopian authorities for a quick and transparent trial process.
The constitutional concept, which consisted in repealing all existing Treaties and replacing them by a single text called Constitution, is abandoned.
David Miliband: My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has said that neither he nor any senior Government Minister will attend the EUAfrica summit in Lisbon if President Mugabe attends. Our focus now is on working for solutions that deliver a successful summit without President Mugabe attending. No invitations to the summit have yet been issued and consequently no final decision has been made as to who will or will not attend for the UK.
Mr. Jim Murphy [holding answer 15 October 2007]: The latest draft of the reform treaty includes technical amendments as a result of discussions in the intergovernmental conference legal working group, including technical points on the UKs joint home affairs protocol. Following my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretarys oral evidence session with the Foreign Affairs Committee on 10 October, he agreed to write to the Committee and place in the Library of the House a document setting out how the Governments red lines are reflected in the latest draft of the reform treaty.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps have been taken by the Government to inform Iraqi staff (a) working for and (b) who formerly worked for the Government that they are eligible for assistance from the UK. 
David Miliband: We have held meetings with our locally-engaged staff in Iraq to inform them of the written ministerial statement I made on 9 October, Official Report, columns 27-28WS, and to hear their views. We will inform serving Iraqi staff of the full details of the scheme once these are announced. We plan a wide range of measures to ensure that former staff who meet the eligibility criteria have the best possible chance of hearing about the scheme.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the budget is for ex gratia assistance to (a) Iraqi staff working for the Government and (b) Iraqi staff who formerly worked for the Government; and if he will make a statement. 
Mark Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what assessment he has made of progress in implementing the UN Security Council resolution on the future of Kosovo; and if he will make a statement; 
Mr. Jim Murphy:
UN Security Council Resolution 1244 provides a framework for a political process to decide Kosovo's future status. That process is ongoing. The UN Special Envoy for Kosovo submitted a comprehensive proposal for a status settlement on 26 March 2007. This was accepted by Pristina, but
rejected by Belgrade. As a further effort to achieve a negotiated settlement, the Contact Group established a Troika whose task is to facilitate a period of further discussion between the parties. The Troika process will be concluded by the Contact Group reporting to the UN Secretary-General by 10 December.
Contact Group Ministers met in New York on 27 September. They reiterated that an early resolution of Kosovo's status is crucial to the stability and security of the Western Balkans. They endorsed fully the UN Secretary-General's assessment that the status quo is not sustainable. They expressed full support for the Troika process.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 10 October 2007, Official Report, on private military security companies, which private military security companies have been employed by the Government in (a) Iraq and (b) Afghanistan; what monitoring of those companies and their actions is carried out by the Government; under what terms the Government can terminate a contract; how many times private military security companies employed by the Government in (i) Iraq and (ii) Afghanistan were involved in weapons fire which has resulted in civilian casualties in each year since 2003; and if he will make a statement. 
IraqArmorgroup, Control Risks and Garda World (former Kroll Security Group);
AfghanistanArmorgroup and Edinburgh International.
All of these contracts are subject to continuous performance monitoring and contract management by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and other Government Departments concerned, both in country on-the-ground and from the UK, in respect of all aspects of the delivery and operation of these contracts.
In line with normal practice the Government can terminate these contracts, in whole or part, in a situation where the company is in default e.g. if it breaches any obligation under the contract, or in the event of the company becoming insolvent or of a change of control over the company, or for the Governments convenience in line with a pre-defined period of notice.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the Government's objectives for the forthcoming international Conference on the middle east peace process to be held by the United States of America. 
David Miliband: The upcoming US-hosted international meeting will be key to moving the peace process forward. As my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister told the House on 8 October 2007, Official Report, column 24:
we would like to see an agreement that puts the Israelis and Palestinians on a path to real negotiations in 2008, leading to a final settlement of two states living side by side in peace and security.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|