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Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many (a) A, (b) B, (c) I and (d) False B Points were presented to the Council from the Committee of Permanent Representatives in 2007. 
Dr. Howells: Our embassy in Kabul and the UK-led Provincial Reconstruction Team in Lashkar Gah employ native Pashtun speakers in a variety of roles, including as special advisers, project managers, translators and office staff.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 10 December 2007, Official Report, column 159W, on embassies, what arrangements are in place to provide alternative consular services in the case of each of the embassies, high commissions and consulates closed since May 1997. 
David Miliband: Where a non-sovereign post (British consulate or British consulate general) has closed, consular services will be provided by either the sovereign post (embassy or high commission), or the nearest non-sovereign post in the country concerned, possibly through an honorary consul.
Should a sovereign post close, an honorary consul supervised by a neighbouring post will normally be appointed. In some countries where we have no representation, under reciprocal arrangements, either an EU member state or a Commonwealth country that has representation in the country concerned may provide consular services in an emergency. Under article 20 of the treaty establishing the European Community, EU nationals in a country where their own state is not represented are entitled to consular protection from an embassy or consulate of another member state, on the same conditions as the nationals of that state.
|Posts closed since 1997-98|
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Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the Government have employed the services of Global Strategies Group in (a) Iraq and (b) Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement. 
The Government ensures that all contracts are subject to a rigorous selection process so that we obtain best value for money. Any company engaged by the Government needs to pass through a stringent and transparent procurement process in line with Public Procurement Guidelines and best practice.
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations his Department has made to the Malaysian Government on the imprisonment of Hindu Rights Action Force leaders P. Uthayakumar, M. Manoharan, V. Ganabatirau, R. Kenghadharan and T. Vasanthakumar under the Malaysian Internal Security Act. 
Meg Munn: As yet, we have made no representations on these specific cases. However, we are considering these cases with our EU partners. The EU has previously expressed concern to the Malaysian Government about the use of the Internal Security Act.
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations his Department has made to the Malaysian Government regarding Malaysia's Internal Security Act, with particular reference to its provisions which allow indefinite detention without charge or trial. 
Meg Munn: We are discussing with our EU partners recent arrests under the Internal Security Act. The EU has previously expressed concern to the Malaysian Government about the use of the Internal Security Act.
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been made in negotiations with the Maldives on maritime demarcations between Maldive territorial waters and those around the Chagos Archipelago; and if he will make a statement. 
A draft agreement on the boundary between the Maldives Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and the British Indian Ocean Territory Fishery Zone was agreed at technical level in 1992, but it has never been signed and is not in force. Since 1992, the Maldives has replaced its 1976 legislation on the EEZ with Act No 6/96 dated June 1996. Notwithstanding the changes to this EEZ legislation, which introduces archipelagic baseline points, it seems to respect the boundary agreed in draft in 1992.
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what use was made of the equidistance principle in determining the maritime boundaries between the Republic of Maldives and the United Kingdom territory of the Chagos Archipelago; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: The draft agreement reached in 1992, which would set out the maritime boundary between the Maldives Exclusive Economic Zone and the British Indian Ocean Territory Fishery Zone, is based entirely on the equidistance principle with no adjustment.
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will place in the Library copies of the exchange of correspondence between the UK and the Republic of Maldives that led to the Memorandum of Agreement of 1993 on the Chagos Archipelago maritime delimitation line. 
Dr. Howells: Representatives of the Government of the Republic of Maldives and the Government met in November 1992 to discuss the delimitation of the maritime boundary between the Maldives and the British Indian Ocean Territory. Disclosure of the minutes to this meeting, together with a copy of the draft agreement attached thereto, could only be made after consultation with the Government of the Maldives.
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