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Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made in connection with the UK's policy on sanctions against Iraq of the threat to (a) the UK and (b) the United States from Iraqi use of chemical weapons; and what assessment he has made of the evidence submitted by Richard Butler to the UK Government on this subject. 
Mr. Hain [holding answer 20 June 2000]: UK policy on sanctions against Iraq is governed by the relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs), not by our assessment of the threat. Richard Butler, the former Executive Chairman of the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) has submitted no evidence to the UK Government on the subject of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. During his time with UNSCOM, he reported to the United Nations Security Council that numerous serious gaps remained in Iraq's declarations on its chemical and biological weapons and ballistic missile programmes. We share his concern over this, hence the importance we attach to re-establishing weapons inspection regime in Iraq under UNSCR 1284.
The UK's assessment of the threat posed by Iraq's chemical weapons capabilities can be found in the MOD document "Defending Against the Threat from Biological and Chemical Weapons", published in July 1999.
Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the current waiting times in each queue for entry to the UK for settlement in each post in the Indian subcontinent and in (a) Manila, (b) Bangkok, (c) Lagos, (d) Abuja, (e) Accra, (f) St. Petersburg and (g) Moscow. 
|Posts using 4 queue system||Waiting time in weeks|
Q1 = Dependent relatives over 65; special compassionate cases
Q2 = Spouses, children under 18
Q3 = Fiance(e)s; other settlement categories
Q4 = Reapplicants
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|Other posts||Waiting time in weeks|
Figures for Islamabad, Karachi, Dhaka, Calcutta, New Delhi, Madras, Colombo, Abuja and Moscow are for May 2000. All others, with the exception of Manila (where computer difficulties have hindered submission of statistical information since March 2000) are for April 2000.
Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will place in the Library a list of bilateral treaties and agreements which have been agreed with the Government of the Republic of Ireland since 1 January 1997, including the title of each treaty and agreement and the date on which it was signed. 
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on present and future activities of the Europe Made Easy Programme in the United Kingdom. 
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on how many occasions since 1 May 1997 his office has referred hon. Members in parliamentary answers to the office of the European Commission in London; and if he will make a statement on his policy of referral, with particular reference to ministerial accountability. 
Mr. Vaz: We refer hon. Members to the European Commission when their questions relate to Commission policy or to facts about programmes and projects for which the Commission is responsible. We do not keep a record of numbers.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received from HM diplomatic posts in Indonesia on the human rights situation in the Moluccas. 
Mr. Battle: We receive regular reports from the Embassy in Jakarta on the worrying developments in Maluku. We deplore the loss of all life resulting from the violence, in particular the escalating violence in recent
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days with over 100 people killed and over 200 injured. This represents a major threat to stability. We are playing a key role in the EU and the UN in calling on the Indonesian Government to work on peaceful resolution to the violence. EU representatives called on the Indonesian Government on 12 June, to remind them of their responsibility to maintain law and order, and to request an investigation and immediate steps to bring the perpetrators to justice. As part of the international effort through the United Nations Development Programme we have already funded two conferences on reconciliation in Maluku. With our partners and international agencies we are actively looking at other ways of promoting reconciliation.
Mr. Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many agencies of his Department use interactive voice response systems when dealing with telephone inquiries from the general public. 
Mr. Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many of his Department's telephone lines used by the general public are responded to by interactive voice response systems. 
Mr. Battle: None of the FCO's telephone lines used by the general public is responded to by interactive voice systems. Where it is sensible and efficient to use them there is an increasing use of telephone lines which are answered by voice processing systems, but these respond to touch-tone telephones rather than the human voice. These systems are deployed overseas only where the in-country telephone infrastructure is good and where it is common practice for such systems to be deployed.
Mrs. Mahon: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if any of the Kosovo Protection Corps have been (a) arrested and (b) questioned following the weapons find in the village of Kleck; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Vaz: Following the weapons find by KFOR, investigations are under way to establish who was responsible for the arms cache. A wide range of people are likely to be questioned, including members of the Kosovo Protection Corps, but it is too early to say yet whether KPC members were directly involved. The Government welcome KFOR's discovery of this illegal weapons site and will support tough action taken against those found responsible.
Ms Oona King: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what actions he proposes to take to prevent the sale in the UK and dependent territories of diamonds and other commodities being used to fund conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 
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We have supported the establishment of a UN expert panel to follow up on reports and collect information on the exploitation of DRC's natural resources. We look forward to the panel's recommendations to the Security Council.
Mr. Hain: We deplore the recent fighting between Ugandan and Rwandan forces in Kisangani. Their actions have put the Lusaka Agreement at risk and led to widespread suffering for the people of Kisangani. We have expressed our concerns to both governments bilaterally and supported the UN Security Council Resolution 1304 which calls for both parties to cease hostilities and withdraw all their forces from the territory of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Ms Oona King: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will press for a mandatory EU arms embargo on countries involved in the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 
Mr. Hain: As a signatory to the EU Code of Conduct on arms exports the UK will not allow exports which would provoke or prolong armed conflicts or aggravate existing tensions or conflicts in the country of final destination.
At the General Affairs Council (GAC) on 22 May the Council invited the EU/SADC working group on illicit trafficking in small arms and light weapons to examine in its next meeting practical measures to prevent arms flowing to conflict zones in the Great Lakes Region.
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