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Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on how many occasions in the last 12 months Ministers in his Department have used their discretion to rule that a parliamentary question for written answer should be answered because it would be in the public interest to do so, even though to do so would exceed the disproportionate cost threshold of £700. 
Gillian Merron: The Government continue to support the Falkland Islands right to develop their hydrocarbons resources as my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister restated in his new year message to the Falkland Islanders.
The development of the sector is primarily a matter for the Falkland Islands government. The new Falkland Islands Constitution makes clearas did the previous Constitutionthat the people of the Falklands have the right to dispose of their natural wealth and resources. The Government have a strategic interest in the way in which progress is made, and will continue to provide guidance and advice to ensure that the Falkland Islands government is able to plan for, and manage, all the challenges and responsibilities that come with a hydrocarbons sector including security, health and safety or socio-economic issues.
Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his European counterparts on the provision of health care for British citizens who are taken ill whilst on holiday in their countries. 
Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has received from UK organisations on the provision of health care for British citizens who are taken ill whilst on holiday outside the UK. 
Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what protocols and procedures govern the sharing of intelligence by the United Kingdom Intelligence Services with the intelligence services of allied countries. 
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been made on his Departments Global Dialogue Strategy, as referred to on page 18 of his Departments Autumn 2008 Performance Report; and which 27 target country posts are involved. 
David Miliband: We have begun a dialogue with a number of states on the need to consider whether our current international organisations are best equipped to confront the challenges of the 21(st) century. The states we have so far engaged are those that play a key role in the existing international system and will have a view on how we can make it more effective in the future.
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on the whereabouts and safety of the human rights activist Jestina Mukoko, Director of the Zimbabwe Peace Project; and what representations he has made to the Zimbabwean authorities regarding her disappearance. 
Gillian Merron: Jestina Mukoko, director of the Zimbabwe Peace Project, was discovered in Matapi prison in Harare on 23 December 2008 by Zimbabwe lawyers for human rights, despite official denials that her whereabouts were known. She has since been transferred between other prisons and charged, with nine others, with recruiting persons to undergo training in Botswana in order to commit acts of armed insurgency. The accused claim to have been beaten while in custody and to have been denied access to doctors. Jestina Mukoko's lawyers have filed a separate application in the High Court for those in need of treatment to be taken to hospital. No date has been fixed for this hearing.
The Government, along with EU partners, made representation to the Zimbabwe authorities demanding the release of Jestina Mukoko and other abductees. On 6 December 2008, and with our full support, the French EU presidency issued a statement expressing the EU's deep concern and calling on the government of Zimbabwe to ensure her immediate freedom. This was conveyed to the Zimbabwean Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Harare in a démarche by the EU Troika on 8 December 2008 and reaffirmed by the European Council on 12 December 2008. On 19 December 2008 we issued a note verbale to the Zimbabwean ambassador demanding investigations be made as to the location of Ms Mukoko and fellow abductees. We deplore this ongoing abuse of the legal and human rights of political prisoners and urge the restoration of internationally-accepted human rights standards in Zimbabwe.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the implementation of the conditions set out in the Ahtisaari plan for Kosovo; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has (a) received from and (b) made to the government of Serbia on the deployment of the EULEX mission in Kosovo; and if he will make a statement. 
President Tadic confirmed to EU High Representative Javier Solana on 28 November that Serbia intends to support EULEX deployment throughout Kosovo. Given this, there has been no need for further high level representations on this issue. We have remained in close contact with the Serbian authorities at official level following this welcome commitment.
The deployment of EULEX throughout Kosovo is an important step forward in establishing a single rule of law for all Kosovo's citizens, and one which moves it closer on its path towards the EU. A vital ingredient in the success of this is the continuing commitment of Kosovo's government to work with EULEX.
David Miliband: The EU Rule of Law Mission (EULEX) deployed across Kosovo, including in Northern Kosovo, on 9 December. This is in response to an invitation from the government of Kosovo for an EU police and rule of law mission in accordance with the UN Special Envoy's Comprehensive Settlement Proposal. In cooperation with United Nations Mission in Kosovo, EULEX will take on part of the role envisaged in UN Security Council resolution 1244 (1999) for the international civilian presence, and it accordingly also draws upon the authority of that resolution.
Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his Russian counterpart on the future of Serbian citizens whose homes are in Kosovo. 
Caroline Flint: This issue has not been on the agenda of recent ministerial discussions with Russia. However, My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary regularly raised the importance of ensuring protection of minority rights in Kosovo, including of the Kosovo Serb community, with interlocutors in the governments of both Kosovo and Serbia.
Caroline Flint: The Kosovo constitution, which entered into force on 15 June 2008, includes provisions to ensure equal rights for all citizens in Kosovo, in line with the Comprehensive Settlement Proposal of UN Special Envoy Martti Ahtisaari. The Kosovo government has also adopted legislation to implement protection of minority rights, including of the Kosovo Serb community. I have engaged closely with the government of Kosovo to encourage and support continued commitment in this area.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he has taken to press the Government of Nigeria to clean up oil pollution in the Nigerian Delta region. 
Gillian Merron: The Government continue to raise with the Nigerian authorities our concerns at the ongoing political, security, social and environmental problems in the Niger Delta. A lasting solution will require a systematic approach on security, governance and development. We welcome the fact that President YarAdua has made tackling the problems of the Niger Delta a priority, and that he has just established a new Ministry and appointed a dedicated Cabinet Minister to take this work forward. We hope that there will soon be an opportunity for all stakeholder groups in Nigeria to engage in peaceful dialogue on these issues.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will place in the Library a copy of a tri-departmental delivery plan on improving the UKs capability to prevent, manage and resolve conflict and build peace, referred to in his Departments Autumn 2008 Performance Report. 
David Miliband: The tri-departmental delivery plan for Public Service Agreement (PSA) 30: Reduce the impact of conflict through enhanced UK and international efforts, referred to in the Foreign and Commonwealth Offices Autumn 2008 Performance Report, is a classified document. I am therefore unable to place a copy of this document in the Library.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the French Government on the case of Rose Kabuye, charged with crimes associated with the Rwandan genocide. 
Gillian Merron: We have not made representations to the French Government regarding the Rose Kabuye case. This is a judicial matter for the French courts, which we hope will be resolved speedily. However, we have continued to encourage France and Rwanda to rebuild their relations and any progress towards a resolution is to be encouraged.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his Department's policy is on Serbia's proposal for renegotiating the 1999 Kumanovo agreement; and if he will make a statement. 
David Miliband: The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) has not received a formal request to amend the 1999 Kumanovo Military Technical Agreement (MTA). No action is currently being taken to revise the MTA.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he expects Ethiopian troops to leave Somalia; and what assessment he has made of the likely effects of such withdrawal on Eritrea and other neighbouring states. 
Gillian Merron: Ethiopian troops have now withdrawn from the capital, Mogadishu. According to the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) the Ethiopian bases have now been occupied by forces supporting the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia and the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia, who agreed in November 2008 to establish a Unity Government under the UN-sponsored Djibouti Process. Although the departure of the Ethiopians could risk further worsening the security situation in South Central Somalia, it also offers an opportunity to find a Somali-led political solution to the conflict and may relieve a point of aggravation between Ethiopia and Eritrea. A more stable Somalia would ultimately have a positive impact on the security and prosperity of the region.
As the Minister responsible for Overseas Territories, I met Councillor William Drabble during the Overseas Territories Consultative Council in October this year, and the then Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, my hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield, Heeley (Meg Munn), met Councillor Brian Isaacs at the same event in December 2007. Foreign and Commonwealth Office and other Government officials are in regular contact with St. Helena officials.
Gillian Merron [holding answer 12 January 2009]: My noble Friend, the Minister for Africa, Asia and the UN, Lord Malloch-Brown, discussed the situation in Darfur with Djibril Bassolé, African Union/UN Chief Mediator for Darfur, in London on 15 December 2008, and we are in regular contact with his office. Our ambassador in Khartoum and her staff maintain close contact with all main political groups in Darfur, non-governmental organisations working in the region, and the AU/UN peacekeeping mission in Darfur. Officials have visited all three states of Darfur in the last three months for meetings with a variety of humanitarian, civil society and political figures.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the political situation in (a) the Nuba Mountains, (b) Abyei and (c) northern Sudan; what reports he has received of inter-community tensions; whether he plans to take steps in response to such reports; and if he will make a statement. 
Gillian Merron [holding answer 17 December 2008]: We monitor intercommunity tensions throughout Sudan through the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), the Security Working Group of the Assessment and Evaluation Commission (AEC) and those NGOs we work with on community peace-building and conflict resolution projects.
We monitor southern Kordofan, including the Nuba mountains, and Abyei closely. Our ambassador visited the region in November as chair of the AEC Security Working Group. The group assessed that, although there was no immediate risk of major conflict, tensions in the area remained high and the international community and UNMIS would need to continue to observe the situation closely.
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