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refurbishment to areas of sub-ground (including the Consular Crisis Centre), ground, third and fourth floors of King Charles St, London, at a cost of £14,004,000;
refurbishment to areas of the second, third and fourth floors and East cupola of the Old Admiralty Building, London, at a cost of £1,425,000;
refurbishment to areas of the second floor of Lancaster House, London, at a cost of £45,000;
refurbishment of new offices in the Legalisation Office, Milton Keynes at a cost of £519,000;
refurbishment of lecture theatre and reception at Hanslope Park, Milton Keynes at a cost of £510,000.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much his Department and its agencies have spent on (a) flat screen televisions, (b) DVD players and (c) stereo equipment in each of the last three years. 
Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much was spent on salaries for press and communications officers in (a) his Department, (b) its non-departmental public bodies and (c) its agencies in each of the last three years. 
Gillian Merron: The following tables show the number of UK civil servants serving as either press or communications officers at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London or at UK Diplomatic Missions overseas at the beginning of each financial year since 2005 and their combined base salaries.
|Section||Number of Staff||Combined Annual Salary|
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the statement of 21 February 2008, Official Report, columns 457-58, on terrorist suspects (renditions), whether the information received from the US administration on rendition flights through Diego Garcia has been passed to the police. 
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the US lease on the use of part of Diego Garcia for a military base is due for renewal; and what his policy is on whether the lease should be renewed. 
The use of the British Indian Ocean Territory is regulated by a series of bilateral agreements (Exchange of Notes) between the UK and the US. The 1966 Exchange of Notes provides that the islands of the British Indian Ocean Territory, including Diego Garcia, shall be available for defence purposes of both countries for an initial period of 50 years (until 2016) and continuing thereafter for a further period of 20 years unless terminated
by either government not more than two years before the end of the initial period.
There have been no discussions with the US about the possibility of terminating the agreement. The UK and US consult closely and regularly on their mutual defence needs, including in the annual bilateral official talks on the British Indian Ocean Territory last held in London 18-19 September 2008. To date neither the UK nor the US has raised the possibility of terminating the agreement.
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the cost has been to his Department of contesting legal action brought by Chagos islanders seeking to return to the Chagos Islands in each year since 1999-2000. 
Gillian Merron: There have been three separate legal cases concerning the British India Ocean Territory (BIOT). My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs has paid the following sums in respect of legal fees incurred in defending those cases.
R (Bancoult) v. Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and another: £175,268.44legal fees; £280,000applicants legal fees paid by the Secretary of State following judgment in favour of the applicant.
Chagos Islanders v. (1) the Attorney-General (2) Her Majestys BIOT Commissioner: £752,362.78legal fees.
R (Bancoult) v. Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs: the award costs for this case are currently being considered by the Law Lords.
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the government of India on action against the perpetrators of recent violence against Christian churches and people in Orissa state. 
Bill Rammell: On 1 October my noble Friend Lord Malloch-Brown raised the matter with the Indian High Commissioner in London. On 17 October, he also discussed our concerns with Anand Sharma, Indian Minister of External Affairs, and Mohammed Quereshi, Chairman of the Minorities Commission in New Delhi.
We understand that the Indian Central Government served an advisory notice to the Orissa State Government on 13 October, urging them to take firm and effective steps to deal with the outbreaks of communal violence and to bring the perpetrators to justice. Our high commission in New Delhi is monitoring the situation closely.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of Iran's compliance with the August 2007 workplan agreed with the International Atomic Energy Agency; and if he will make a statement. 
Bill Rammell: The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General has reported four times since August 2007 on the Workplan on implementation of Iran's Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement. He has acknowledged some progress, but, in his report of 15 September 2008, Dr. El Baradei said that the IAEA had regrettably
not been able to make any substantive progress on the alleged studies and other associated key remaining issues which remain of serious concern.
We agree with Dr. El Baradei and continue to assess that Iran remains in breach of international obligations. We reiterate our call for Iran to answer the IAEA's questions, and to rebuild international confidence in its intentions.
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment has been made of the (a) motivation and (b) identity of the perpetrators of the recent violence towards Christians in Iraq; and what representations he has made to the government of Iraq in this respect. 
We have raised our concerns about the recent violence towards Christians with the Iraqi Government, including the Human Rights Ministry. We welcome the action it has taken to address the security situation in Mosul, where most of this violence has occurred. We are encouraged by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reports that Christian families are now returning to their homes.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what rights to (a) appeal and (b) notification of reasons locally-engaged staff contracted to work in the British embassy in Baghdad have in cases of dismissal. 
Gillian Merron: Conduct and discipline issues are covered in local staff terms and conditions. In Baghdad the issue is dealt with in Paragraph 28 and Annex A of the Terms and Conditions of Service in compliance with local law, which state:
If conduct, attendance or performance is still unsatisfactory and the employee still fails to reach the prescribed standards, dismissal will normally result. The decision will take into account the employee's previous record and any other factors that may be relevant. The employee will be provided, as soon as reasonably practicable, with written reasons for dismissal, the date on which employment will terminate and the rights of appeal. The employee or a representative for
them may appeal by putting arguments against dismissal in writing, and those arguments will be considered by Post Management. The employee may contact Local Staff Management Unit (HRD-LSPS) in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, but should be aware that there is no formal appeal channel to London. The employee should feel able to involve the local staff association, and no staff association representative will be penalised in any way for becoming involved. If the employee is unsatisfied with the outcome of this process or of any appeal, then they may have recourse to the local courts (subject to the possible application of local Iraqi laws, including Coalition Provisional Authority Orders in this regard).
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs to what codes of practice on employment and terms and conditions locally-engaged staff contracted to work in the British Embassy in Baghdad are subject to. 
Gillian Merron: Terms and conditions of employment for locally engaged staff at the British embassy in Baghdad are based on local law. There is a Foreign and Commonwealth Office checklist of issues, such as conduct and discipline, grievances, hours of work, pay, performance standard and tax, which are included in all local staff terms and conditions worldwide, and adapted to comply with local law. Some of the locally contracted staff working at the British embassy Baghdad are employees of private companies such as KBR, Control Risks and GardaWorld, and their terms and conditions are set by their parent companies.
Bill Rammell: Officials in our posts in Erbil and Baghdad, as well as in London, regularly meet representatives of the Assyrian community in Iraq, including the Assyrian representative in the Iraqi Parliament. We last met Assyrian representatives in Erbil on 11 November.
Like all communities in Iraq, the Assyrians have suffered from violence, extremism and criminality. We continue to press the Government of Iraq to ensure that they take action to protect all communities as enshrined in the Iraqi constitution, and to take tough action against those responsible for criminal acts.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his Serbian counterpart on the deployment of the European Union's EULEX mission in Kosovo; and if he will make a statement. 
David Miliband: The EU Rule of Law Mission (EULEX) was one of the issues I discussed with Serbia's President Boris Tadic and Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic during my visit to Serbia on 4-5 November, and with Foreign Minister Jeremic when he visited London on 11 November.
I indicated that a signal from Serbia that it supported EULEX's mission would help create a positive atmosphere for EULEX deployment across Kosovo. We expect Serbia, as an aspiring member of the European Union, to understand the importance of support for this important European Security Defence Policy mission.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the terms of the prisoner transfer agreement signed with Libya on 17 November 2008 are; when it is expected to come into force; and if he will make a statement. 
The prisoner transfer agreement between the United Kingdom and Libya was signed on 17 November 2008. It is subject to ratification by both the United Kingdom and Libya and will not enter into force until both states have completed their relevant constitutional procedures. In accordance with the requirements of the Ponsonby Rule, the agreement will be published as a Command Paper and laid before Parliament with an Explanatory Memorandum in the usual way.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has discussed with his Madagascan counterpart the possibility of Madagascar joining the Commonwealth of Nations. 
Gillian Merron: No such discussions have taken place. However, President Ravalomanana has indicated to our ambassador his desire to discuss Commonwealth membership, noting strong British involvement in Madagascar before it was colonised by the French.
Bill Rammell: We have consistently expressed our political support for the Turkish government's efforts in holding indirect peace talks between Syria and Israel. Over the past fortnight, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has met his Turkish, Israeli and Syrian counterparts and reiterated our support.
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