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23 Jun 2009 : Column 787Wcontinued
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many consular staff his Department employs in each of its embassies in Central America. 
Chris Bryant: The number of full-time equivalent (FTE) staff carrying out consular activities in Central America is 11.5. About 70 per cent. of these staff are locally hired, the remainder being diplomatic service officers. The following table provides the details by post within Central America.
|Post name||Consular FTE|
Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what (a) private meetings and (b) public engagements Ministers in his Department have attended at which representatives from the think-tank Demos were present in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. 
Chris Bryant: Ministers and officials have meetings with a wide variety of organisations in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such meetings.
Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what percentage of letters to his Department from hon. Members' Parliamentary offices were answered within 30 days of the date of receipt in each quarter from January 2008 to March 2009. 
Chris Bryant: The Cabinet Office, on an annual basis, publishes a report to Parliament on the performance of Departments in replying to Members correspondence. The report for 2008 was published on 2 April 2009, Official Report, columns 80-86WS.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 23 February 2009, Official Report, columns 369-72W, on departmental internet, how many (a) unique visitors and (b) page impressions were received by each website operated by his Department in each of the last 12 months. 
Chris Bryant: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office operates over 200 websites. The lists of the number of page views and unique visitors for each website for each of the last 12 months are too unwieldy for Hansard. Instead, a copy of this information will be placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Blunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many laptop computers belonging to (a) his Department and (b) its agencies have been lost or stolen in the last five years. 
Chris Bryant: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) maintains a record of all encrypted laptops issued to its staff for the storage and transmission of classified data. Since 2004, two of these laptops have been reported lost or stolen. The FCO's process in these circumstances was followed. Responsibility for the purchase and safe keeping of unclassified laptops is devolved to directorates and posts overseas. As such, it is not possible to provide information on the number of lost or stolen unclassified laptops without incurring disproportionate cost.
Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much his Department spent on travel in each year since 1997.  [Official Report, 8 April 2010, Vol. 508, c. 13MC.]
Chris Bryant: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has spent the following amounts on overseas and UK travel in each of the last five financial years:
The year on year increase in travel costs are largely due to increases in fuel costs over the period affecting ticket prices.
Obtaining information on costs of travel before this period would incur disproportionate cost.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been made on arranging a World Trade Organisation Ministerial meeting in the Doha Development Agenda; and if he will make a statement. 
Ian Lucas: I have been asked to reply.
At the London summit G20 leaders renewed their commitment to concluding the DDA, on the basis of the progress made so far. There has been greater engagement from the United States and India, who have an important part to play in the negotiations, following their elections. Technical discussions are continuing among WTO members in Geneva.
The Doha round remains the UK government's top trade priority and we will continue to work closely with our EU and international partners to secure a deal as early as possible.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many consular staff his Department employs in each of its embassies in Eastern Europe. 
Chris Bryant: The number of full-time equivalent (FTE) staff carrying out consular activities in our consular region of Central, Eastern Europe and the Balkans is 31.3. About 75 per cent. of these staff are locally hired, the remainder being diplomatic service officers. The list provides the details by post within Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans.
|Post name||Consular FTE|
Dr. McCrea: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many consulate staff his Department employs in Egypt. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The number of full-time equivalent (FTE) staff carrying out consular activities in Egypt is 10.9. The following list provides the details by post within Egypt:
|Post n ame||Consular FTE|
Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the Government has made representations to the Iranian government on the right of peaceful assembly and protest since the recent elections held there. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 22 June 2009]: On 19 June 2009, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister said:
"I believe that it is right for us to speak out for rights, to speak out against repression, to speak out in condemnation of violence, to speak out for a free media that is prevented from doing its job, and we will continue to do it".
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office's (FCO) political director summoned the Iranian deputy ambassador on 19 June 2009. The FCO's Permanent Secretary summoned the Iranian ambassador on Monday 22 June 2009. In both meetings, the UK's commitment to free and fair elections, and the right to demonstration without fear of violent reprisals, was made clear.
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the effect on (a) the stability of the Iraqi government and (b) respect for human rights in Iraq of the assassination of Harith al-Obaidi; what discussions he has had with the Government of Iraq on the assassination of Harith al-Obaidi; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: We condemn the murder of the Iraqi MP Harith al-Obaidi. His death is a genuine loss to the Iraqi Council of Representatives, and to its Human Rights Committee of which he was an active deputy chair. He worked closely with officials at our embassy in Baghdad.
The Iraqi Government and Council of Representatives have continually stood strong in the face of terrorism: the cross-party condemnation of his murder is a strong sign that they will do so again, and will not be diverted from the important legislative challenges that are vital for the country's future.
My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has not discussed this matter with the Government of Iraq. However, he has written a personal letter to the Speaker of the Council of Representatives to offer the UK's support and condolences, and officials at our embassy in Baghdad have echoed that message in their meetings with a range of Iraqi parliamentarians.
Dr. McCrea: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many consulate staff his Department employs in Israel. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The consular team at our embassy in Tel Aviv consists of seven staff members; this includes six members who are locally engaged.
Mr. Jamie Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has discussed Israel's conditions for the establishment of a Palestinian state with the Palestinians. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis:
My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary spoke to President Abbas on 18 June 2009.
These discussions focused on the importance of making further progress on the peace process, including President Abbas' reaction to Prime Minister Netanyahu's speech.
Mr. Jamie Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his Israeli counterpart on the establishment of a Palestinian state. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Foreign Minister Lieberman visited the UK on 13 May 2009 and attended the EU-Israel Association Council on 15 June 2009. These discussions focused on the importance of making further progress on the peace process to establish a Palestinian state.
My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister also spoke to his Israeli counterpart on 15 June 2009 to make clear that his endorsement of the principle of a two state solution and his willingness to engage in negotiations without preconditions was a step in the right direction. But also that more was needed on the issue of settlements: a complete freeze in settlement construction, in line with Israel's Roadmap commitments.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he expects the UN Security Council to adopt new sanctions on North Korea following its recent nuclear test; and if he will make a statement. 
David Miliband: UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1874 on North Korea was agreed unanimously on 12 June 2009. The resolution is an important sign of the unity, clarity and intent of the international community.
The resolution is clear in condemning North Korea's nuclear test on 25 May 2009 and demanding that it does not conduct any further nuclear tests or launches using ballistic missile technology. The resolution clamps down on North Korea's proliferation activities. It provides an enhanced inspections regime and bans the export of all arms from North Korea. It includes strong financial measures, including a ban on the provision of international finance to North Korea, except for humanitarian and development work. And it promotes the effective implementation of sanctions by introducing a new monitoring mechanism. The UN Sanctions Committee will also look to identify entities, goods, and individuals for further targeted sanctions within 30 days of the adoption of this new resolution.
The UK wants to see the new measures implemented swiftly and we will be working closely with partners in the UN and EU to do so.
We urge North Korea to return to the negotiating table. This is the only route to peace and prosperity.
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