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Mr. Vaz: My right hon. Friend the Member for Gateshead, East and Washington, West (Ms Quin), the then Minister for Europe, visited northern Cyprus in April 1999, as part of a wider trip to the island. During her visit to the north of the island she met Mr. Denktash, and party leaders Mr. Akinci and Mr. Talat.
Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has recently had with Greece and Turkey on the proximity talks on Cyprus; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Vaz: The Secretary of State meets his Greek and Turkish counterparts frequently. His most recent substantive discussions with them on Cyprus took place at the OSCE Ministerial Meeting in November.
11 Jan 2001 : Column: 602W
Mr. Vaz: The Foreign Secretary last met President Clerides on 12 March 1998 at the EU Birmingham Summit. The Prime Minister met President Clerides on 10 April 2000 in London. The Foreign Secretary and I met the Cyprus Foreign Minister, Mr. Kasoulides, in London on 3 October and 29 September respectively.
Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with Mr. Rauf Denktash on freedom of the press in northern Cyprus; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Vaz: The UK has made it clear to the Turkish Cypriots at various levels that we expect the rights of Turkish Cypriots, including the freedom of the press, to be respected. We will continue to monitor the situation.
Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs who Her Majesty's Government's representatives will be at the next meeting of the United Nations' sponsored proximity talks on Cyprus; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Vaz: The United Kingdom is not party to the United Nation-sponsored talks on Cyprus. However, we follow developments closely and Sir David Hannay, UK Special Representative for Cyprus, is likely to meet the parties during the next meeting. The UK urges all involved to co-operate with the UNSG's efforts to reach a just and lasting settlement.
Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with Mr. Rauf Denktash regarding the legal action taken against Turkish Cypriot opposition politicians and journalists in northern Cyprus; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Vaz: The United Kingdom has made it clear to the Turkish Cypriots at various levels that we expect the rights of Turkish Cypriots to be respected, including the freedom of the press. We have expressed concern about particular instances, such as the recent case of Mr. Levent, and will continue to monitor the situation closely.
Mr. Vaz: My right hon. Friend the Member for Gateshead, East and Washington, West (Ms Quin), the then Minister for Europe, visited Cyprus in April 1999. The visit included meetings with President Clerides, Foreign Minister Kasoulides, Mr. Denktash, and several Greek and Turkish Cypriot party leaders.
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Mr. Vaz: The human rights record of the Government of Belarus remains poor in many respects. The political system is oppressive and undemocratic. The judiciary is not independent of the executive. Opposition politicians are harassed and have, in some cases, been subject to politically motivated legal proceedings and harsh sentencing. There is bias in the state mass media. Independent trade unions have suffered unacceptable pressure from the authorities, including having their bank accounts frozen. The Belarusian authorities have failed to investigate satisfactorily the disappearances of several opposition sympathisers. The parliamentary elections on 15 October failed to meet international standards for democratic elections.
Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many British personnel work for Minurso; what is the proposed expenditure for the 2001-02 financial year; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hain: There are currently no British military or civilian police personnel working for Minurso. The United Nations 2000-01 projected budget for Minurso was $49,317,037. They have not yet produced a projected budget figure for 2001-02.
Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussion he has had with the Turkish Government on the recent prison riots in Turkey; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Vaz: Neither I nor my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has discussed this issue with the Turkish Government. We regret the loss of life and injuries during the Turkish police operations, and our concerns about the handling of the police operations have been raised with the Turkish authorities by our officials.
Dr. Marek: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his policy is on the boundary between Belize and Guatemala; and what action he will take in the event of a threat to the territorial integrity of Belize. 
We remain committed to the long-standing British undertaking to consult internationally in the event of a threat to Belize's security and to play an appropriate part in any response. This has been the UK's position since the withdrawal of the British garrison from Belize in 1994.
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Mr. Casale: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the forthcoming business in the Council of the European Union for January and the major European Union events for the period 1 February to 30 June. 
|8-9||Brussels||JHA Informal Council|
|12||Brussels||Education/Youth Council (possible)|
|15-17||Brussels||Informal Employment/ Telecommunications Council|
|25||Brussels||Informal Trade Minister dinner|
|26-27||Brussels||General Affairs Council|
|6||Brussels||Employment and Social Affairs Council|
|12||Brussels||Internal Market/Consumer Council|
|15||Brussels||Justice and Home Affairs Council|
|16||Brussels||Justice and Home Affairs Council|
|19||Brussels||General Affairs Council|
|20||Brussels||General Affairs Council|
|20-21||Brussels||Fisheries Council (possible)|
|31-1||Brussels||Meeting of Environment Ministers|
|8-10||Brussels||General Affairs Council|
|8-10||Brussels||Agriculture Council (Informal)|
|7||Brussels||Employment and Social Council (possible)|
|14-15||Brussels||General Affairs Council|
|14-15||Brussels||Industry and Energy Council|
|28-29||Brussels||Justice and Home Affairs Council|
|28||Brussels||Education and Youth Council|
|5||Brussels||Internal Market/Consumer Council|
|11-12||Brussels||General Affairs Council|
|11||Brussels||Employment/Social Affairs Council|
|18||Brussels||Fisheries Council (possible)|
|19||Brussels||ECOFIN Council (possible)|
|25-26||Brussels||General Affairs Council|
11 Jan 2001 : Column: 605W
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