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Panikos Tsiakourmas

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had regarding the case of Mr. Panikos Tsiakourmas of Cyprus; and if he will make a statement. [157031]

Mr. Vaz: We remain deeply concerned about the continued detention of Mr. Tsiakourmas. During my visit to Cyprus on 14 March, I raised the issue with Mr. Denktash, and urged him to find a satisfactory resolution to the case. I also met Mrs. Tsiakourmas and reassured her that we would remain strongly engaged in seeking Mr. Tsiakourmas' release.

Libya

Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the progress of negotiations with Libya. [156906]

Mr. Battle: The UK and US began talks with Libya in New York at the beginning of February. These trilateral talks are focused on how Libya can comply with the requirements of the UNSCRs: no more, no less. The trilateral talks are supported by bilateral talks in London and Tripoli.

Foot and Mouth (Tourism)

Mr. Pendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what measures diplomatic posts are taking to ensure that potential foreign visitors are aware of tourism opportunities in the United Kingdom. [156979]

Mr. Wilson: Diplomatic Posts work closely with the British Tourist Authority overseas to promote the UK as a tourist destination. Since the outbreak of foot and mouth disease earlier this year posts have been implementing a pro-active public diplomacy campaign to provide the most up to date facts about how the UK is handling the disease.

At the Prime Minister's request posts have also redoubled their efforts to promote the message that Britain is open for business. This has included updating websites, placing articles, giving interviews and rebutting false allegations. The target audience for this activity has included the media, the travel industry and the local business community. Here we have held regular briefings for London-based foreign correspondents and have used the FCO's dedicated TV and radio services to feed stories into thousands of broadcasts around the world.

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Palestine

Mr. Stephen Twigg: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to Yasser Arafat regarding the release from prison of members of (a) Hamas and (b) Islamic Jihad. [156907]

Mr. Wilson: The Secretary of State raised concerns about the release of prisoners belonging to groups responsible for terrorist acts during his meeting with President Arafat on 11 October 2000.

The Government are in regular contact with the Palestinian Authority and the Government of Israel, and urge them to resume security co-operation and to do all in their power to end violence, restrain extremism and minimise incitement and provocations.

Rapid Reaction Force

Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer of 20 March 2001, Official Report, column 109W, on the Rapid Reaction Force, what obligations are waived for Denmark and applicable to the United Kingdom. [157403]

Mr. Vaz: Under Protocol 5 of the Treaty on European Union, Denmark does not participate in the elaboration and the implementation of decisions and actions of the Union which have defence implications and is not obliged to contribute to the financing of operational expenditure arising from such measures. The UK participates fully in the development of the European Security and Defence Policy.

China

Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action the United Kingdom proposes to take in (a) London and (b) Geneva, to encourage UN Commission for Human Rights members to vote against the no-action motion China will propose at the 57 UNCHR. [157451]

Mr. Battle: EU Foreign Ministers agreed at the General Affairs Council on 19 March that the EU should oppose and actively lobby against any no-action motion tabled by China at the 57th session of the UN Commission on Human Rights.

Lobbying in Geneva and the capitals of some UNCHR member states has already been carried out on behalf of EU member states, including the United Kingdom, by the Swedish Presidency. This will continue until the vote, which is expected to take place on 18 April.

Brigadier Stephen Saunders

Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the investigation into the murder of Brigadier Stephen Saunders, former defence attache to Greece. [157597]

Mr. Battle: A team of Metropolitan police officers continues to work closely with the Hellenic National police in Athens on the investigation into the murder of Brigadier Saunders. Operational details of the

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investigation must remain confidential but we, and the Greek Government, remain committed to bringing Brigadier Saunders' murderers to justice.

Belize

Mr. Peter Bradley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer of 29 March 2001, Official Report, column 746W, what information the British High Commission has received from (a) Belize Telecommunications, (b) its representatives as to the steps it intends to take either to (i) pursue its claims and (ii) to resolve the dispute; and if he will make a statement. [157959]

Mr. Battle: This issue is now in the hands of the Belize Public Utilities Commission and the Belizean Government. We hope that it will soon be resolved.

EU Newsletter

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the cost of the (a) publication and (b) distribution of the spring 2001 EU Newsletter was; how many copies were published; and to whom it was distributed. [157763]

Mr. Vaz: The production costs came to £3,896.00 for 10,000 copies. Due to the use of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office internal post system for the distribution of many copies, we estimate that postage fees totalled less than £100.00.

Recipients included UK MEPs, MPs, British Embassies in the EU, UK Universities, Local Government Authorities and the European Commission Representation in the UK for onward transmission to public libraries and European Information Centres.

Keith Vaz

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer of 16 March 2001, Official Report, column 776W, if, in his discussions with the hon. Member for Leicester, East (Mr. Vaz), he asked the hon. Member if he had sought to ensure the co-operation of witnesses in respect of each of the complaints in relation to which the Parliamentary Commissioner reported she had not completed her inquiry. [157564]

Mr. Robin Cook [holding answer 9 April 2001]: As was clear from the previous reply, the discussion referred to took place after the publication of the report of the Committee on Standards and Privileges and after the Commissioner had brought her inquiries to a conclusion.

Kyoto Agreement

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action is being taken by Her Majesty's Government and other European Governments to bring the United States back into the Kyoto Agreement. [157861]

Mr. Battle: The UK has raised climate change and the importance of the Kyoto Protocol at the highest levels in the US Administration. Our EU partners have also taken steps to persuade the Americans to remain in the Kyoto process; there have been bilateral contacts as well as a

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visit by the Environment Minister of Sweden, the Environment Commissioner and senior Belgian officials to Washington last week.

Over the period of the recently-launched US review of climate policy and in the run up the resumed international negotiations on the Kyoto Protocol in Bonn in July, the Government will continue strongly to urge full US participation in the international efforts to tackle climate change.

Ministerial Visits (Balkans)

Mr. Duncan Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on what dates he has visited (a) Croatia and (b) Bosnia-Herzegovina since January 2000. [157978]

Mr. Vaz: The Foreign Secretary has visited Croatia twice since January 2000: on 13 March 2000, meeting President Mesic and Prime Minister Racan, and on 23-24 November 2000 to attend the Zagreb Summit. I visited Croatia in February 2000. The Secretary of State last visited Bosnia in March 1998.

Human Rights (China)

Mr. Wilkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the objectives of the human rights dialogue between the United Kingdom and the People's Republic of China and the criteria he has established for the evaluation of its success. [157528]

Mr. Battle: HMG's overall objective in pursuing a structured human rights dialogue with China is to promote the highest possible adherence by China to existing international standards on human rights. While the specific objectives of each round of dialogue reflect issues of particular interest or concern at that time, the strategic direction of the dialogue process remains constant. To that end, the dialogue is accompanied by a comprehensive programme of technical advice and assistance on specific areas which give rise to human rights concerns.

In taking forward our dialogue with the Chinese Government, we are guided inter alia by the objectives agreed by the EU General Affairs Council on 22 January for the EU's own dialogue with China. These are:


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In addition, the UK's approach to the last two rounds of the dialogue with China was aimed at:


We will carry out regular reviews of the dialogue process, which will include an assessment of progress achieved on these objectives.


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