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Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales which organisations provided media monitoring services to (a) his Department and (b) its non-departmental public bodies in each of the last three years; and what the cost of each contract was. 
|(1) We currently hold a one year contract at the cost of £4,136.|
Mr. Paul Murphy: The Wales Office will normally advertise vacant posts to all Ministry of Justice and Welsh Assembly Government staff, using electronic media at no identifiable special cost. We keep information on such internal advertisements for one year only. In the 12-month period September 2007 to 2008 we have placed 14 internal advertisements for vacant posts.
David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how much his Department spent on external training courses for departmental staff in (a) 2005, (b) 2006, (c) 2007 and (d) 2008; and which external organisations were paid by the Department to provide such courses in each year. 
Hywel Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether he has had discussions with the Secretary and Chief Executive of the Security Industry Authority (SIA) on establishing an administrative base for the SIA in Wales. 
Mr. Paul Murphy: I have not met with representatives of the Security Industry Authority. I am advised, however, that it has no plans to establish an administrative base in Wales but do have teams of investigators in each geographical region of the UK, including Wales.
Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of UK efforts to eradicate poppy growing in Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement. 
Bill Rammell: Poppy eradication is the responsibility of the Afghan government. The UK is not directly involved in this activity, but we do provide support to the planning, monitoring and targeting work of the Afghan eradication forces.
The UN Office on Drugs and Crime reports that 5,480 hectares were eradicated in 2008, down on 19,047 hectares in 2007. This is disappointing. But the picture is more nuanced. The drop in eradication has been accompanied by a drop of nearly one fifth in poppy cultivation, which is a significant success. Furthermore, eradication efforts in Helmand targeted land cultivated by individuals of significance in the narcotics trade.
Mr. Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received from his US counterpart on (a) the Ministry of Defences Chinese bilateral programme and (b) the training of Chinese military personnel in the UK. 
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on how many occasions and what dates he has communicated with (a) members and (b) representatives of the Georgian government since 1 August 2008. 
Caroline Flint: We have regular exchanges with members of the Georgian Government on a range of issues, most recently on 27 September when my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary met President Saakashvili of Georgia at the UN General Assembly in New York.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 15 September 2008, Official Report, column 2186W, on Iraq: asylum, how many applications under the Locally Employed Staff Assistance scheme have been rejected against the criteria (a) to have 12 months continuous service and (b) to have been employed from 1 January 2005; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 10 July 2008, Official Report, column 1827W, on Iraq: asylum, of the 351 applications assessed as eligible, how many applicants have chosen the (a) financial package and (b) Gateway scheme; and if he will make a statement. 
Bill Rammell: Since 10 July, the figures have changed. There have now been 1,067 applications for assistance from former staff (as defined under the scheme), of which 432 have been assessed as eligible for assistance and decisions are pending on a further 16. Of those assessed as eligible, 250 have chosen the financial package, 165 have opted for resettlement under the Gateway programme and 17 have yet to express a preference.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 22 July 2008, Official Report, column 1120W, on Iraq: asylum, of the 220 applications for assistance under the Locally Employed Staff Assistance scheme from
currently employed staff, how many (a) applied for and (b) received (i) financial assistance, (ii) exceptional leave to remain and (iii) resettlement under the Gateway scheme; and if he will make a statement. 
Bill Rammell: Since 22 July, the figures have changed. There have now been 243 applications for assistance from serving staff (as defined under the scheme), of which 149 have been assessed as eligible for assistance, 83 as not eligible, and 11 are awaiting a decision. Of those assessed as eligible, 99 have chosen the financial package, 27 have chosen indefinite leave to enter the UK and the rest have yet to express a preference.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when his Department first received a copy of the report dated 10 February 2004 from the International Committee of the Red Cross on alleged abuses by coalition forces in Abu Ghraib and elsewhere in Iraq; and from what source. 
Bill Rammell: I refer the hon. Member to the written answer given by my right hon. Friend the then Foreign Secretary (Mr. Straw) to the right hon. and learned Member for Devizes (Mr. Ancram) on 26 May 2004, Official Report, column 1637W. Unfortunately, despite a thorough search of our records I am unable to confirm from what source the report was obtained.
Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether diplomatic relations have been established between the UK and Kosovo since its declaration of independence. 
Caroline Flint: The UK recognised Kosovo on 18 February and the British office in Pristina became the British embassy. Our current ambassador, Mr. Andy Sparkes, presented his credentials on 28 April. The Government of Kosovo have nominated Mr. Muhammet Hamiti as chargé daffaires in London. He is expected to take up his appointment shortly.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is taking to seek to encourage conditions conducive to freedom of expression in Sudan ahead of the forthcoming elections in that country. 
Gillian Merron: The UK has raised freedom of expression through our position as Chair of the media sub-group of the elections donor group in Khartoum. We are working with the group and the UN to lobby the Government of Sudan to reform key legislation including the media law.
The UK has supported civic education and media training programmes since late 2007, including funding the BBC World Service Trust to work with radio stations across the country. We will contribute an initial £1.5 million to the UN-managed elections fund which will run programmes on civic and voter education, training of civil society organisations, and training of electoral staff.
Bill Rammell: We have held discussions with the Qataris on Sudan at official level in Doha, as well as between the UK Special Representative on Sudan and the Qatari Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ahmed bin Abdullah Al Mahmoud, in New York. We welcome all constructive initiatives towards peace in Darfur under the overall leadership of the UN-African Union Chief Mediator, and hope that Qatars proposal to host a Darfur peace conference, to which the Government of Sudan and Darfur rebel movements would be invited, can make a positive contribution to these efforts.
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