The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Order 2009 laid before Parliament on 12 February. Copies are available in the Libraries of the House.
Colin Challen: To ask the Prime Minister when the Intelligence and Security Committee last visited RAF Menwith Hill; with whom the Committee had discussions during that visit; and which other military bases with a United States personnel presence in the UK the Committee has visited in 2007 and 2008. 
The political situation is undoubtedly complex. Our first priority is to ensure the Gaza population receives humanitarian aid and reconstruction materials, and so we have made available £26.8 million for the relief operation and are pressing Israel to open the crossings more fully. The Egyptian efforts to embed the ceasefire and to bridge the divide in Palestinian politics
are at the heart of improving the political situation. We strongly support their efforts. I am travelling to Cairo today to discuss Gazaas well as other issueswith Egypt.
Bill Rammell: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary wrote to his Canadian counterpart, Lawrence Cannon, last November to congratulate him on his appointment as Foreign Minister following federal elections. This emphasised our commitment to working in effective partnership with Canada on a range of international issues, including Afghanistan and the world financial crisis. On 16 February 2009, the Foreign Secretary met with Peter MacKay, Canadas Minister of National Defence and Chair of its Cabinet Foreign Affairs Committee.
Bill Rammell: The UK continues to enjoy a close and constructive relationship with the Indian Government and the Indian people. India is a key partner for the UK in tackling the full range of global challenges facing us today and we co-operate in promoting regional security, trade, development, culture, science and education.
13. Dr. Desmond Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his assessment is of the expected effects on UK-China relations of the new framework for engagement between the UK and China. 
Bill Rammell: The Chinese Government have welcomed the new framework. We believe it provides a coherent basis for delivering UK interests in China and for strengthening co-operation between our two countries to address global challenges.
Bill Rammell: We are extremely concerned about the situation in Sri Lanka. On 29 January 2009, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire. We have made it clear to the Government of Sri Lanka that a political solution that addresses the legitimate concerns of all communities in Sri Lanka is the only way to bring a sustainable end to the conflict.
Bill Rammell: The recent military advances of the Sri Lankan Government and the subsequent humanitarian crisis make a sustained drive for a lasting political solution to the conflict all the more urgent. We have made it clear to the Government of Sri Lanka that a political solution that addresses the legitimate concerns of all communities in Sri Lanka is the only way to bring a sustainable end to the conflict.
Bill Rammell: We are extremely concerned about the situation in Sri Lanka. Or 29 January, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire. We have made it clear to the Government of Sri Lanka that a political solution that addresses the legitimate concerns of all communities in Sri Lanka is the only way to bring a sustainable end to the conflict.
17. Nigel Griffiths (Edinburgh South): To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many people associated with the Zimbabwean government are on the UKs list of individuals prohibited from entering the UK. 
Gillian Merron: Two hundred and three individuals associated with the Zimbabwean Government, as constituted prior to the inauguration of Prime Minister Tsvangirai, are subject to an EU-wide travel ban and an assets freeze. This includes 27 people added to the list by the EU on 26 January 2009.
19. John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the international effectiveness of strategies to counter racism adopted by the United Nations and its agencies. 
The Government have not made a formal assessment of the effectiveness of the strategies to counter racism adopted by the UN and its agencies. We do however believe that some of the UN's mechanisms related to combating racism are making a real contribution to that goal. In particular, we attach importance to the
International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and the work of its Committee. We remain concerned that some other UN processes created to address racismnotably the follow-up mechanisms of the Durban World Conference against Racismare currently proving less effective.
20. Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of progress against the objectives of UK foreign policy in Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement. 
Bill Rammell: Much has been achieved across Afghanistan since 2001, including in the south. For example, all the major towns in Helmand are now under the Government of Afghanistan's control and the insurgency has been pushed out of its traditional heartland.
21. Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his counterpart in Pakistan on steps that country could take with India to prosecute all those involved in the terrorist attacks on Mumbai. 
Bill Rammell: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary last discussed the Mumbai attacks with Pakistani Foreign Minister Qureshi on 7 February 2009. The recent steps Pakistan has taken towards prosecution of those responsible are welcome. The UK will continue to press the Government of Pakistan for faster and further progress, and for effective action to break up the terrorist networks operating within its borders.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his Czech counterpart on the Czech Presidency's priorities for the EU's common foreign and security policy. 
Caroline Flint: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has spoken to Czech Foreign Minister Schwarzenberg about the Presidency's priority foreign policy issues on a number of occasions, including by phone on 4 January 2009, and in person ahead of the General Affairs and External Relations Council meeting on 26 January 2009 in Brussels. He also took part in a plenary discussion of the Czech Presidency priorities at that same meeting.
Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what proportion of EU disbursements for (a) operations and (b) other commitments in Afghanistan is met from UK contributions. 
Bill Rammell: The UKs contribution to spending on the EU's commitments in Afghanistan (the office of the European Union Special Representative, the European Commission Delegation and common costs of the European Union Police Mission (EUPOL Afghanistan)) is approximately 17 per cent. This is the assessed contribution rate that the UK pays for all such EU missions. In financial year 2008-09, the UK is spending an additional £3.18 million to fund the deployment of UK police officers and experts to EUPOL.
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs with reference to the answer of 12 November 2008, Official Report, column 1183W, on British nationality: detainees, and with reference to the Minister of State's letter of 10 December 2008 to the hon. Member for Chichester, in how many of the four cases (a) the British nationals complained of mistreatment, (b) consular access was requested, (c) consular access was granted and (d) the detainees were visited by other British officials. 
Bill Rammell [holding answer 12 January 2009]: Two of the four British nationals alleged that they were ill-treated at the time of their release. However, we have no record of them pursuing the matter with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Consular access was granted to the two individuals detained in Bangladesh. Consular access was granted only to the two individuals detained in Syria at the end of their periods of detention, immediately prior to their deportation.
Mr. Duncan Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent steps his Department has taken to assist in the resolution of the boundary disputes between Croatia and Slovenia. 
Caroline Flint: We continue to encourage the two countries to resolve this issue bilaterally. We do not believe that this issue should hold up progress of accession negotiations between the EU and Croatia.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his assessment is of the prospects for the Europa Nostra initiative for the restoration of Famagusta/Varosha; and if he will make a statement. 
Caroline Flint: Under the aegis of Europa Nostra, on 4 April 2008 agreement was reached by Greek and Turkish Cypriots to join forces to restore Famagusta. We welcome all such bi-communal initiatives to protect cultural heritage. We hope that early progress can be made.
Caroline Flint [holding answer 19 January 2009]: We work hard to maintain and build links with our neighbours within the EU, both on a bilateral basis and through European Union institutions. The websites of our embassies to European neighbours such as Ireland, Germany and France detail recent developments on bilateral co-operation. Furthermore, through the EU we regularly meet with EU members at Prime Ministerial, ministerial and official level. The EU today is a unique partnership in which countries work closely together for the benefit of all their citizens, where collective and co-ordinated initiatives can be more effective than individual state action.
Gillian Merron: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office does not provide funding to India Aid. The Department for International Development has allocated £270 million for India in the financial year 2008-09, which includes assistance to other Indian non-governmental organisations, but not to India Aid.
Mr. Alan Reid: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he plans to respond to the letters from the hon. Member for Argyll and Bute of 21 November 2008 and 22 December 2008 on correspondence from a constituent about Israel and Palestine. 
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