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It is also a rare opportunity to put across directly to the Burmese leadership our deep concerns about the appalling record on human rights and democracy. The meeting will also be a chance to press ASEAN countries to do more.
32. Mr. Rendel: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how often the recommendation of the British High Commission in India not to grant entry visas has been overridden, following a ministerial intervention, since 1 January 1997. 
Mr. Vaz: Information on these decisions was not kept centrally until October 1999. Since then I have overturned 19 decisions to refuse entry visa at our posts in India following representations made by hon. and right hon. Members who regarded these cases as exceptional. During this period over 184,000 visa applications were made in these posts, of which approximately 20,000 were refused and 200,995 visas were issued.
33. Mr. Robathan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the current situation in Zimbabwe and on the situation of British subjects resident there. 
34. Mr. Ian Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action his Department has taken to improve air links between the Falkland Islands and South America. [R] 
Mr. Battle: A principal element of the British Argentine Joint Statement of 14 July 1999 was the restoration of air links between the Falkland Islands and South America. The weekly link with Chile has been of important benefit to trade, tourism and fisheries. The introduction of a monthly link with Argentina has facilitated visits by Argentine next-of-kin to the graves of their deceased on the Islands. These arrangements have been working well.
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37. Mr. Quinn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on UK assistance to refugees housed in camps in Gaza and the west bank; and what representations he has made to Israeli officials on a lasting peace settlement for the middle east. 
Mr. Hain: This year the UK contributed around £10 million to the General Fund of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In October the Government also announced a contribution of a further £3 million to UNRWA's request to meet a cash shortfall. And on 1 December we announced an additional £5 million for UNRWA's special emergency appeal. We are in regular contact with Israeli and Palestinian officials to urge them to put in place further measures to end the violence and return to negotiations. We will continue working towards the goal of a just and lasting settlement in the middle east.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the three Israeli service men recently abducted on the Israeli side of the Israel/Lebanon border. 
Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which Ministers have visited India since May 1997; what was the purpose of each visit; by whom these Ministers were accompanied; and what was the cost to his Department of each trip. 
Baroness Symons, September 1997: for discussions on bilateral and consular issues. She was accompanied by Mr. W. Clare (Private Secretary). She also visited Pakistan. The approximate cost was £9,000.
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Mr. Fatchett, November 1998: to attend the EU Foreign Ministers' Troika and to promote the Indo-British Partnership (trade). He was accompanied by Mr. F. Baker (Private Secretary), and Mr. R. Dixon (News Department). He also visited Sri Lanka. The approximate cost was £10,000.
Mr. Hain, November 1999: for bilateral discussions and to launch the "Get Connected" IT initiative. He was accompanied by Mr. F. Baker (Private Secretary). The approximate costs was £12,500.
Mr. Vaz, February 2000: to look at ways of improving entry clearance services. He was accompanied by Mr. N. Hopton (Private Secretary), Mr. E. Wallace (Assistant Private Secretary), Mr. D. Reddaway (Director Public Services) and Ms J. Battersby (Migration and Visa Department). He also visited Bangladesh. The approximate cost was £12,500.
Secretary of State, April 2000: on a bilateral visit and to launch the UK-India Round Table. He was accompanied by Mrs. G. Cook, Lord Paul (Co-chairman of the UK-India Round Table), Mr. S. Cowper-Coles, CMG, LVO (Principal Private Secretary), Mr. A. Patrick (Private Secretary), Ms R. Marsden (Director Asia Pacific), Dr. M. Williams (Special Adviser), Mr. K. Darroch, CMG (News Department), Miss E. Rea, MBE (PA/ Mr. Cowper-Coles), Miss L. Beats (PA/Mr. Darroch), Miss R. Read (PA/Mr. Patrick), Miss C. Whitehorn (Visits Officer), Mr. S. Moore (Radio Engineer), Det. Sgt. A. Walsh (Protection Officer), Det. Con. R. Restorick (Protection Officer), and three Royal Military Policemen. He also visited Thailand and Nepal. The approximate cost was £170,000.
Mr. Hain, November 2000: for bilateral discussions and to promote images of modern Britain. He was also accompanied by Mr. R. Gwynn (Private Secretary). He also visited Sri Lanka. The approximate cost was £7,000.
Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) if he will list the members of the Panel 2000 Task Force; on how many occasions it has met since its establishment; who was present at each meeting; what was discussed; what work it is currently undertaking; and what conclusions it has reached to date; 
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Panel 2000 has produced a total of 21 recommendations. A key proposal was the creation of a "Britain abroad task force", to foster more co-ordinated presentation and projection of the UK. We are now establishing such a group. A joint Chair has been appointed as well as a Director and two staff, and an initial strategy for the new organisation is planned to be produced in March 2001.
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