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Russia: Missiles

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of Russia’s planned deployment of Iskander missiles to the Kaliningrad region; what discussions he has had on the matter with (a) the Polish government and (b) his other NATO counterparts; what assessment he has made of President Medvedev’s threat electronically to jam US anti-ballistic missile systems; and if he will make a statement. [234947]

Caroline Flint: Deployment of these missiles would be unfortunate and unnecessary. The US has made clear many times, the planned Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) system is not intended for, or capable of, countering Russian strategic nuclear forces, but is designed to counter limited ballistic missile threats from states of concern.

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has had no discussions with the Polish government, or the governments of other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation nations, on this specific issue, although the issue of BMD is routinely discussed in a number of forums.

Mr. MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with (a) NATO and (b) EU partners on the Russian declaration on installing short-range offensive Iskander missiles close to the borders of Lithuania, Poland and Germany; and if he will make a statement. [236781]

Caroline Flint: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for North Essex (Mr. Jenkin) (question 234947).

Rwanda: Armed Conflict

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with his counterparts in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the recent fighting in the region. [233182]

Gillian Merron: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary visited the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Rwanda and Tanzania on 1-2 November with his French counterpart, Bernard Kouchner. During the visit, he urged President Kabila of the DRC and President Kagame of Rwanda to pursue a political solution to the problems of the eastern DRC, including by fully implementing the Nairobi Accord.

We will continue to work with the DRC and Rwandan Governments, as well as others including the UN, the African Union and the EU, to seek a long-term solution. Meanwhile, we urge that the current ceasefire is maintained and humanitarian access is allowed to help those most affected by recent fighting.

Somalia: Armed Conflict

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on the seizure of the port of Merka in Somalia by Islamist militants; and if he will make a statement. [236376]


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Gillian Merron: A Shabaab insurgent group entered the port city of Merka on 11 November 2008. Government forces appear to have avoided a battle by withdrawing prior to their arrival. Merka is now reported to be the closest city to Mogadishu controlled by insurgents.

Somalia: Piracy

Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment has been made of reports that pirates operating in the Gulf of Aden are from insurgent groups linked to al-Qaeda; and if he will make a statement. [236350]

Bill Rammell: Piracy has a long history in the region, and while it is possible this is linked to terrorism and insurgent groups, the best evidence is that these activities are largely unconnected. The relevant UK Departments are in regular contact on this issue.

Sudan: War Crimes

Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with his (a) US and (b) French counterparts on the warrant issued by the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court for the arrest of President al-Bashir of Sudan; and what the outcome was. [235411]

Gillian Merron: On 14 July 2008 the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) submitted an application to the Pre-Trial Chamber of the ICC to issue a warrant for the arrest of President Bashir of Sudan. The Pre-Trial Chamber has not yet ruled on this application.

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has regular discussions with his French and US counterparts, including on the subject of Sudan. We also have extensive discussions at official level. We have agreed with the US, France and other international partners on the need to continue pressing the government of Sudan to engage with the ICC and to commit to a genuine peace process for Darfur and have made this clear to the government of Sudan.

Turks and Caicos Islands: Foreign Relations

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has met officials from the Turks and Caicos Islands since Hurricane Ike in September 2008. [238366]

Gillian Merron: As Minister for the Overseas Territories, I met delegations from the Overseas Territories, including the Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands, Dr. Michael Misick, and his officials, during the tenth meeting of the Overseas Territories Consultative Council on 28-29 October.

The Under Secretary of State for the Department for International Development and I held a bilateral discussion with the Premier, the Finance Minister and Ministry of Finance officials on 30 October.


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Turks and Caicos Islands: Hurricanes

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the socio-economic impact assessment prepared by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean in respect of the damage caused to the Turks and Caicos Islands by Hurricane Ike. [236773]

Gillian Merron: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, jointly with the Department for International Development, has considered the draft assessment prepared by the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. We have provided our comments to the Turks and Caicos Islands Financial Secretary for inclusion in its final report.

Turks and Caicos Islands: Overseas Aid

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions have taken place with the Turks and Caicos Islands authorities on post-hurricane financial assistance; and when a decision will be made about such assistance. [235716]

Gillian Merron: The current status of discussions within the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) is a matter for the government of the TCI. However, I discussed post-hurricane financial assistance with the Premier of the TCI when I met with him on 30 October. I understand that they are discussing post-hurricane financial assistance with a number of international organisations, governments and private contributors.

Western Sahara: Politics and Government

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the Answer of 22 October 2008, Official Report, column 239W, on the Western Sahara, what his policy is on whether the resolution of humanitarian and human rights questions should await the conclusion of a political settlement. [236662]

Bill Rammell: The UK remains committed to a resolution to the Western Sahara dispute that will achieve a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution, providing self-determination to the people of Western Sahara. A successful political solution between the parties lies in building trust and confidence, encouraging the parties to greater realism and compromise as outlined by UN Security Council Resolution 1813 adopted on 30 April 2008. Improvements in the human rights and humanitarian consequences of the dispute are a key part of building that mutual confidence.

On 22 April my hon. Friend and predecessor the hon. Member for Pontypridd (Dr. Howells), while visiting Morocco, called for greater transparency by all the parties, including on human rights, to help build mutual confidence. This call was echoed by my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary when he met Mr. Taieb Fassi Fihri, the Foreign Minister of Morocco, in Marseille on 3 November. The UK Government continue to
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provide, through the European Union, significant humanitarian assistance to the people in the camps in Tindouf. Since 1993, the European Commission Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO) has provided €133 million in humanitarian aid.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the Answer of 22 October 2008, Official Report, column 239W, on the Western Sahara, what his policy is on the appointment of human rights monitors in the Western Sahara. [236663]

Bill Rammell: The UK is concerned that the conflict in the Western Sahara remains unresolved and we are keen to see a resolution to the issue of the Western Sahara that will provide for a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution offering self-determination of the people of the Western Sahara. To this end, we support the efforts of the UN Secretary-General and the negotiations between the parties under his auspices.

The UK also continues to support the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO). MINURSO’s mandate does not include human rights monitoring. However, success in the negotiations depends upon building greater confidence between the parties. In this respect, the UK remains open to supporting UN human rights monitoring in the Western Sahara if it can be shown to enhance the mutual confidence of the parties.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the Answer of 6 October 2008, Official Report, column 239W, on the Western Sahara, whether the Government categorises the Western Sahara as a non-self-governing territory. [236664]

Bill Rammell: The UK regards the sovereignty and hence the status of Western Sahara as undetermined pending UN efforts to find a solution. Western Sahara is on the UN’s list of non-self-governing territories.

Health

Alzheimer's Disease: Drugs

Mr. Skinner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of providing drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease in each of the last five years. [237901]

Phil Hope: The condition for which a medicine is prescribed is not recorded centrally.

The information requested in respect of medicines for the treatment of dementia (as listed in section 4.11 of the British National Formulary (BNF) and which includes Alzheimer's disease) is shown in the following table. Some prescribing of these medicines will be for reasons other than dementia and there may be some prescribing from other areas of the BNF for the treatment of dementia which is not included.


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Section 4.11 of the British National Formulary
£000

Net ingredient cost of medicines prescribed in the UK and dispensed in the community in England Estimated cost for medicines used in hospitals in England( 1)

2007

70,415

12,036

2006

58,969

11,943

2005

49,257

11,973

2004

42,765

11,858

2003

31,347

10,576

(1) Includes medicines dispensed to private patients in private wards within NHS hospitals via the hospital pharmacy.
Sources:
Prescription Cost Analysis (PCA) system
(c) IMS HEALTH: Hospital Pharmacy Audit Index

Breast Cancer: East Midlands

Mr. Skinner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cases of breast cancer were (a) diagnosed and (b) successfully treated in the East Midlands in each of the last 10 years. [237899]

Kevin Brennan: I have been asked to reply.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated November 2008:

Table 1: Numbers of newly diagnosed cases of breast cancers( 1) registered in the east midlands government office region: by sex, 1997 to 2006

Males Females

1997

17

2,622

1998

19

2,767

1999

12

2,967

2000

9

2,993

2001

8

3,005

2002

22

3,047

2003

26

3,306

2004

25

3,513

2005

18

3,375

2006

18

3,548

(1 )Breast cancer is coded to C50 in the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10)
Source:
Office for National Statistics

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Table 2: Five-year age-standardised relative survival( 1) (percentage) from breast cancer( 2) , female patients aged 15 to 99: east midlands government office region, 1994 to 1999
Patients diagnosed in Followed up to the end of Five-year survival (percentage)

1994 to 1996

2001

73.6

1995 to 1997

2002

72.9

1996 to 1998

2003

75.8

1997 to 1999

2004

77.0

(1 )Relative survival takes into account that some cancer patients will die from causes other than their cancer.
(2 )Breast cancer is coded to C50 in the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10)
Source:
Office for National Statistics
http://www.statistics.gov.uk/StatBase/Product.asp?vlnk=11991&;Pos=2&ColRank=1&Rank=272.

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