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Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he last visited (a) India and (b) Sri Lanka; and when he plans next to visit (i) India, (ii) Pakistan and (iii) Sri Lanka. 
Dr. Howells: Since his appointment, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has not visited India or Sri Lanka. Foreign engagements for my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary and other Ministers are kept under constant review. It is not our practice to announce such visits until they are firm. Because of the unpredictable nature of world events, final decisions on overseas visits are often not possible until very shortly before the day of travel.
Mr. David Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Iranian Government on the penalty to be imposed on sisters found guilty of adultery for being in the company of men other than their husbands in Iran. 
Dr. Howells: We are deeply concerned that Ms Zohreh Kabir and Ms Azar Kabiri from Shahriar in Tehran province and Mr. Abdollah Farivar from Sari in Mazandaran province in Iran have been charged with adultery and sentenced to death by stoning. The EU presidency, on behalf of all EU member states, issued a public declaration on 7 February condemning these sentences. In this statement, the EU reiterated its opposition to the death penalty in all circumstances and urged the Iranian Government
to abolish immediately, in law and in practice, the use of stoning as a method of executionas called for in the most recent UN General Assembly resolution on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, adopted by the UN General Assembly in December 2007.
We will continue to press the Iranian authorities to uphold its international human rights commitments as described in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and to abolish cruel and degrading punishments such as stoning, flogging and amputations once and for all.
Dr. Howells: We generally raise human rights issues with the Government of Iran through the EU, in order to maximise impact and emphasise that the concerns we have are shared across a range of countries. In 2007, the EU raised human rights issues with the Iranian authorities in Tehran on 28 occasions, through meetings and statements. So far this year, the EU has raised human rights issues with the Iranian authorities five times, most recently in two statements on 7 February about death sentences and the deteriorating situation of Bahais in Iran.
We also discuss human rights issues bilaterally with Iranian officials in London and Tehran. In 2007, the UK raised human rights issues bilaterally on eight occasions, on issues of particular concern including the rise in the use of the death penalty, the execution of juveniles and the use of amputation.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what meetings are planned between EU High Representative Javier Solana and Iranian government representatives on Irans nuclear programme; and if he will make a statement. 
David Miliband: At present there are no meetings scheduled. We have been clear with Iran that our offer of dialogue remains open, and that Javier Solana will continue to make himself available for a meeting at any time when the Iranians wish to discuss both that offer and their willingness to comply with their international obligations.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what EU sanctions the UK is proposing should be imposed on (a) the Iranian financial sector and (b) investment in Iranian oil and gas as set out in the Prime Ministers speech at the Lord Mayors Banquet on 12 November 2007; and if he will make a statement. 
We are working with our EU partners on further sanctions to support a new UN Security Council Resolution. Proposals under consideration will
include a range of measures and I will inform the House of the outcome of those negotiations as soon as I am able to do so.
David Miliband: We will be pressing for further EU measures both in the form of a new Common Position and additional listings of entities and individuals that meet the criteria set out in the existing Common Positions, in parallel with work on another UN Security Council Resolution.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many Iraqi citizens have been (a) admitted to the UK and (b) awarded financial assistance under the scheme of assistance for locally engaged Iraqi staff announced by the Prime Minister on 8 October 2007. 
David Miliband: No former locally-engaged Iraqi staff have yet been resettled in the UK through the Gateway programme. Following the initial assessment of eligibility, individuals need to move to a third country, register with and be recognised by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees as refugees in need of resettlement, undergo further screening by the Border and Immigration Agency (BIA) and have suitable housing identified for them in the UK. This process takes several months, which is why we have promised financial assistance to former staff to allow them to support themselves in a third country during this process. We believe the timeframes for Gateway are comparable to similar timeframes for other countries' resettlement programmes.
No current locally-engaged Iraqi staff have yet been granted Independent Leave to Enter. Many are still in the process of being assessed for eligibility and some already assessed as eligible have yet to express a preference about which option they wish to take. Many of those already assessed as eligible have indicated they want the financial package. Those that choose resettlement in the UK will undergo screening by BIA. Measures are in place to ensure that eligible staff are fully assisted through the scheme without unnecessary delays.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received on Iraq's contribution to global oil pollution; and if he will make a statement. 
Meg Munn: We have received reports of the violence in Kenya from political parties, the media, civil society groups and non-governmental organisations highlighting the post-election situation, ethnic factors and criminality among other causes. The Government's priority is to end the violence and reduce the tension. Clearly any violence is unacceptable. A solution to the crisis needs to be found that reflects the democratic will of the Kenyan people.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he next plans to discuss the proposal for an International Atomic Energy Agency-administered mechanism for reliable access to nuclear fuel with his (a) US, (b) EU and (c) UN Security Council counterparts; and if he will make a statement. 
David Miliband: The UK supports efforts to develop a viable regime of nuclear fuel assurances under the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) auspices that supports states' rights to safe, secure and peaceful use of nuclear technology. The UK Enrichment Bond is one such proposal. We are pursuing this agenda through a variety of bilateral and multilateral channels, including within the IAEA, with the US and our EU partners, and with a number of members of the United Nations Security Council.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the UK objectives are for the second meeting of the Preparatory Committee for the 2010 Review Conference of the parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. 
David Miliband: The UK will use the Non-Proliferation Treaty 2008 Preparatory Committee to take forward work to strengthen the treaty. We will promote consensus around key measures encompassing the treaty's three pillarszero tolerance of proliferation; safe, secure and peaceful use of nuclear technology; and a reinvigorated commitment to a world free from nuclear weapons.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the UK is taking in preparation for the 2010 Non-Proliferation Review Conference on the adoption of measures governing withdrawal from the Non-Proliferation Treaty; and if he will make a statement. 
The United Kingdom is working with partners to build consensus around measures to raise the cost of withdrawal from the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) at the 2010 review conference. These measures include automatic referral of the case of any
state party seeking to withdraw from the NPT to the UN Security Council, a requirement that all material, equipment, technology and facilities acquired under NPT membership be restricted to peaceful uses and remain subject to safeguards; and that use of facilities, equipment and material supplied prior to withdrawal by third countries be frozen with a view to dismantlement and return. They are set out in full in the EU Working Paper (NPT/CONF.2010/PC.I/WP.25* available at http://www.un.org/NPT2010/documents.html) submitted at the 2007 Preparatory Committee.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which (a) Ministers and (b) officials will represent the United Kingdom at the Seven Country Initiative seminar on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in Norway, on 26 to 27 February; and if he will post on his Department's website the United Kingdom's contribution to the seminar. 
Dr. Howells: The UK will take part in a seminar on nuclear disarmament to be hosted by the Government of Norway in Oslo on 26-27 February 2008, represented by two officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office: the Director of Defence and Strategic Threats and the Head of the Nuclear Missile Defence Policy Team. The UK has not been invited to make a presentation at the seminar.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent progress has been made towards securing agreement of a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons and other nuclear explosive devices; and if he will make a statement. 
David Miliband: The UK will continue to push for the start of negotiations without pre-conditions on a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) and at the Conference on Disarmament (CD). My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence spoke to the conference on 5 February and highlighted the urgent need for the conference to redouble their efforts to move forward on an FMCT.
As the holder of one of the six CD presidencies in 2008, we will work with like- minded countries to bring on board those states unable to agree to the start of negotiations in 2007. We will also continue to lobby these states directly.
I refer the hon. Member to the statement made by my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary on 7 January 2008, Official Report, columns 21-22, in which he set out the importance that the Government attach to free and fair elections today (18 February). A contested election result could have serious consequences for the stability and long-term democratic trajectory of
Pakistan. We have therefore been calling on the Government of Pakistan to ensure full transparency in terms of election processes, media freedom and no state interference. We continue to monitor the situation closely, including through the EU Election Observer Mission, in which we are participating.
Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the viability of the Nabucco pipeline project; and if he will make a statement. 
Meg Munn: At last year's Spring European Council, EU leaders agreed that the Nabucco project was a project of European significance as it would increase the EU's diversity of routes and sources of supply, thus improving Europe's resilience to supply disruptions.
The UK believes that energy infrastructure projects (including pipelines, electricity/gas interconnectors and liquified natural gas terminals) should only be built where there is a sound economic and business case. It is not the job of Governments to build pipelines or other import infrastructure, but of the private sector, on the basis of commercial viability. The main function of a Government in this context is to set the right regulatory framework and to remove any unnecessary regulatory barriers, in order to facilitate energy transit and trade.
Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will hold discussions with the Russian Government over access to prison medical care for Vasily Alexanyan. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: We welcome reports that the Russian Federal Penal Service has finally responded positively to the concerns expressed by the European Court of Human Rights, the Russian Human Rights Ombudsman and to demands that Vasily Aleksanyan be moved out of prison to a specialised clinic where he can receive vital treatment for his condition. The UK regularly raises its concerns over ongoing human rights violations, including individual cases, both bilaterally and through the EU. The next EU/Russia human rights consultations will be held on 17 April.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether it is the Government's policy to support the signing of a Stabilisation and Association Agreement between Serbia and the EU. 
David Miliband: The Government and the EU are committed to signing a Stabilisation and Association agreement with Serbia. This would depend on Serbia's full co-operation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. The EU has agreed to establish a task force to examine ways of delivering rapid progress on this.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the Government's policy is on the signing of a Stabilisation and Association Agreement between Serbia and the EU prior to the extradition of Ratko Mladic by the Serbian authorities to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. 
David Miliband: The Serbian Government have made clear their intention to fully co-operate with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), including through the arrest of all four remaining ICTY indictees.
The Government and the EU are committed to signing a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with Serbia. This would depend on Serbia's full co-operation with the ICTY. The EU has agreed to establish a Task Force to examine ways of delivering rapid progress on this.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many complaints of (a) sexual harassment and (b) sexual discrimination have been made by staff in (i) his Department and (ii) its agencies in the most recent year for which figures are available. 
Meg Munn: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and its executive agency, FCO Services, had a very small number of formal complaints of sexual harassment/discrimination made in 2007. No further details can be provided due to the need to protect the confidentiality of those involved.
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