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Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will hold discussions with the Government of Egypt over the independence of the judiciary in that country. 
There are no plans for my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary to hold discussions on the specific subject of independence of the judiciary with the Egyptian Government. However, we look forward to this being discussed in the context of the political sub-committee established under the European Neighbourhood Policy Action Plan.
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 11 December 2007, Official Report, column 435W, on entry clearances: internet, what assessment has been made by UK visas of local needs in Sierra Leone with respect to the take-up of the Visa4UK service. 
Dr. Howells: The Visa4UK online application service was introduced in Sierra Leone from 1 October 2007, following an assessment of local needs by our high commission in Freetown. This assessment took into account the infrastructure and levels of literacy in Sierra Leone and the benefits to applicants.
Non-resident diplomatic cover for Equatorial Guinea is provided by our high commissioner to Nigeria, based in Abuja, and his staff. Consular cover is provided by the British deputy high commission in Lagos and there is a British honorary consul resident in Malabo.
Mr. Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what support he has made available to the family of Simon Mann; what counselling services have been made available to Mr. Mann; which Government officials have met Mr. Mann in the last month; where those meetings took place; and what representations the Government has made to the Government of Equatorial Guinea about Mr. Mann in the last two weeks. 
My noble Friend the Minister for Africa, Asia and the UN, the right hon. Lord Malloch-Brown, met the Equatorial Guinean ambassador on 7 February and spoke to him on 11 and 12 February. The Equatorial Guinean authorities have given assurances that Mr. Mann will be treated well while in detention. They have also assured us that he will receive a fair trial in accordance with international law and will be free to appoint a lawyer.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received of Eritrean co-operation with the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea, with particular respect to fuel supplies. 
David Miliband: We are dismayed by Eritrea's refusal to resume fuel shipments to the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE), or to allow it to import its own fuel. This refusal threatens UNMEE's ability to carry out its mandate. We strongly condemn Eritrea's actions in this regard.
Eritrea's action is in direct contravention of the demands of the UN Security Council (UNSC), as set out in paragraph seven of UNSC Resolution 1798, adopted unanimously on 30 January 2008, and the UNSC press statement of 4 February 2008. The UK strongly supports the UNSC's demands.
Our ambassador in Asmara emphasised the UK's condemnation of Eritrea and support for the UNSC's demands to the Eritrean Government on 14 February 2008. My noble Friend the Minister for Africa, Asia and the UN, the right hon. Lord Malloch-Brown, did the same with the Eritrean ambassador to the UK on 18 February 2008.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with his EU counterparts on the proposed role of the President of the European Council in representing the EU internationally. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: Heads of State and Government, supported by Foreign Ministers reached agreement on all the key institutional issues in the Lisbon treaty, including the role of full-time President of the European Council, at the 2007 June European Council.
The President of the European Council shall, at his or her level and in that capacity, ensure the external representation of the Union on issues concerning its common foreign and security policy, without prejudice to the powers of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had on the salary, allowances and pension of the President of the European Council under the treaty of Lisbon if ratified. 
Mr. Jim Murphy [holding answer 19 February 2008]: The Lisbon treaty sets out the role of the President of the European Council. Details on salary and other job related benefits are not set out in the treaty. Discussions on these issues have not yet started.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many staff work in the European Council Secretariat on matters relating to the European external action service; and how many of them are on secondment from (a) the UK and (b) other EU member states. 
David Miliband: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office does not hold information on the staffing of the European Council Secretariat. The Council Secretariat is responsible for the allocation of its staffing resources.
There are currently seven secondees from the UK working in various departments at the Council Secretariat. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office does not hold details of nationals from other member states currently seconded to the Council Secretariat.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his Departments policy is on the use of fair trade goods (a) in staff catering facilities and (b) at official departmental functions and meetings; and if he will make a statement. 
Meg Munn: I refer the hon. Member to the reply my right hon. Friend the Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw) the then Foreign Secretary (Mr. Straw) gave to the hon. Member for St. Ives (Andrew George) on 13 February 2006, Official Report, column 1504W. The Foreign and Commonwealth Offices (FCO) policy on the procurement of fair trade produce is to ensure that fair trade produce is available to purchase and the FCO will explore options to expand the variety of fair trade options offered for sale, within the boundaries of good procurement practiceincluding value for money. Tea and coffee provided for official functions are fair trade.
Mr. Jim Murphy [holding answer 19 February 2008]: The suspension of the Chief Justice is a matter for the Governor of Gibraltar. The Governor, as Her Majesty the Queen's Representative in Gibraltar, acting in accordance with the Constitution of Gibraltar and on the advice of the Gibraltar Judicial Service Commission, has established a tribunal to consider whether the Governor should request that the removal of the Chief Justice from office be referred by Her Majesty the Queen to the Judicial Committee of Her Majesty's Privy Council. Pending the outcome of these proceedings the Governor, again acting in accordance with the advice of the Gibraltar Judicial Service Commission, has suspended the Chief Justice from his office.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to his statement of 4 February 2008, Official Report, column 50WS, on GAERC, 28 January 2008, when the strengthening of the EU's measures in support of action by the UN
Security Council on Iran will take place; and if he will make a statement. 
David Miliband: We are working closely with EU partners to ensure that the EU is ready to adopt further measures as soon as possible after the next UN Security Council Resolution is adopted. Foreign Ministers of the E3+3 (UK, France, Germany, US, China and Russia) were unanimous in their agreement on elements of a new resolution on 22 January and we hope for an early vote in the UN Security Council.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the use of P-2 centrifuges in the Iranian enrichment programme; and if he will make a statement. 
David Miliband: We are aware that Dr. Mohammad ElBaradei, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), visited an advanced centrifuge site during his visit to Iran on 11-12 January. During this visit, Iran provided some information to the IAEA about its research and development activities in relation to advanced centrifuge technology. We look forward to learning more about these developments in the next report from Dr. ElBaradei. Iran's enrichment programme has no apparent use in its civilian programme and contravenes three UN Security Council Resolutions. These resolutions require Iran to suspend all its enrichment-related activities.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the economic and political impact of UN sanctions on Iran under UN Security Council Resolutions 1737 and 1747; and if he will make a statement. 
David Miliband: We continuously monitor the impact of sanctions through reporting from our embassy in Tehran and other means, including the assessments of analysts across Government and key allies on this issue. We also take note of relevant publications on this topic.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many times the EU-Israel Human Rights Working Group (HRWG) has met; what monitoring the HRWG has undertaken of the implementation of the human rights provisions of the EU-Israel Association Agreement; and what conclusions have been drawn from the monitoring. 
Israel and the EU are committed to achieve closer political co-operation and dialogue on the basis of their common values. In November 2005, the EU-Israel subcommittee on Political Dialogue and Co-operation established an EU-Israel human rights
working group. This informal working group has held two sessions on 7 June 2006 and 20 February 2007. A third is scheduled to take place on 15 April 2008. The EU-Israel subcommittee on Political Dialogue follows up the work of this informal working group. It last met to do so on 22 October 2007. The European Commission Delegation and EU member states posts in the region closely monitor the situation. Non-governmental organisations provide the EU with additional information and feedback. The situation is constantly evolving, making monitoring and assessment of it an ongoing process.
We continue to have concerns about the human rights situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. We are particularly concerned by targeted killings of Palestinians by the Israel Defence Forces; the firing of artillery shells near populated areas of the Gaza Strip causing deaths of civilians; continued settlement construction in the west bank; the impact of the barrier; closures; settler violence; and intimidation and harassment of Palestinian citizens. We also remain extremely concerned about human rights abuses in areas where the Palestinian Authority should take responsibility, in particular its failure to prevent terrorist attacks and rocket attacks on Israeli communities from Gaza and the continuing violence between Palestinian groups. We regularly raise these concerns with the Israeli Government and the Palestinian Authority.
Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will hold discussions with the Government of Pakistan on the representation of religious minority groups in the selection of candidates for the forthcoming Pakistan parliamentary elections. 
Dr. Howells: In our regular contact with the Government of Pakistan at ministerial and official level, bilaterally and through the EU, we have stressed the need for free and fair elections. The elections, which took place on 18 February, were an opportunity for the people of Pakistan to exercise their democratic voice and participate fully in the process of electing their new government. The EU observer mission will report preliminary conclusions on the conduct of the elections on 20 February.
We will want to work with the new Government to help build the institutional framework necessary for a sustained democratic transition and ensure that the fundamental rights of all Pakistani citizens, particularly the most vulnerable (women, minorities and children) are guaranteed, as laid down in the constitution of Pakistan and in accordance with international human rights standards.
Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials recently met with representatives from the Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement, a non-governmental organisation working on behalf of Christians in Pakistan, as part of our ongoing engagement with stakeholder communities. Officials remain in regular contact with them on minority religious rights issues.
Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many (a) parking tickets and (b) speeding fines were issued for vehicles used by his Department in each of the last 10 years; and what the cost to the public purse of those penalties was in each such year. 
All of the drivers employed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Services are required to abide by the law at all times, they are held personally responsible for any speeding or other driving offences they may commit while on duty and these fines are not paid for from the public purse.
In respect of vehicles provided by the Government Car and Despatch Agency, I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to him on 5 February 2008, Official Report, columns 1014-15W, by the Under-Secretary of State for Transport, my hon. Friend the Member for Poplar and Canning Town (Jim Fitzpatrick).
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with Spanish authorities on the decision of the courts there to seek international arrest warrants for 40 Rwandan soldiers accused of being complicit in the 1994 genocide. 
Meg Munn: The issue of any such arrest warrants is a matter for the Spanish judiciary. Officials are in contact with the relevant Spanish authorities to find out more information on this matter. The execution of a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) in the UK is a judicial process based on mutual recognition between EU member states. Any EAW becomes executable when received and certified by the relevant designated authority, which is the Serious Organised Crime Agency in the UK.
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