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Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many commercial aircraft have been diverted en route to Gibraltar due to (a) inclement weather and (b) restrictions by the Government of Spain on overflying Spanish airspace. [24512R]

Peter Hain: In the period 1 January to 18 December 2001, 29 commercial aircraft en route to Gibraltar were diverted due to inclement weather. None were diverted due to restrictions on overflying Spanish airspace.

European Security and Defence Policy

Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the ESDP's readiness to take on (a) a peacekeeping role, and (b) a humanitarian aid relief role. [24939]

Mr. Bradshaw: At Laeken the EU assessed that it was now able to conduct some crisis-management operations. The EU will be in a position to take on more demanding operations as the assets an capabilities at its disposal continue to develop. Decisions to make use of this ability will be taken in the light of the circumstances of each particular situation, a determining factor being the military and civilian assets and capabilities at the disposal of the Union at the time.

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will estimate the cost to the EU of EU structures that there have been created to support the ESDP in (a) the current financial year and (b) each of the next two years. [24988]

Mr. Bradshaw: The budget of the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union contains a provision of £10.7 million to meet expenses related to the European Union Military Staff and infrastructure and meeting costs in support of the European Security and Defence Policy during the current EU financial year. There are no estimates currently available for these costs in future financial years.

The current year is the first in which the budget of the General Secretariat has included disaggregated figures for the costs of the European Security and Defence Policy. In the figure stated it has therefore been possible to include not only the costs of the infrastructure supporting ESDP, as estimated in the answer to the hon. Member's question of 5 December 2001, Official Report, column 360W, but also the costs of meetings and of the European Union Military Staff, which will near full staffing this year.

Western Sahara

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress he

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expects to be made before the expiry of the MINURSO mandate by the UN on a referendum on the future of the Western Sahara. [25234]

Mr. Bradshaw: We supported United Nations Security Council Resolution 1359 that extended the mandate of the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) until 28 February 2002.

Resolution 1359 reiterated full support for the on-going efforts of MINURSO to implement the Settlement Plan and the agreements of the parties to hold a free, fair and impartial referendum for the self determination of the people of the Western Sahara. The resolution expressed the UN's commitment to assist the parties in achieving a just and lasting solution to the question of the Western Sahara.

We continue to support the efforts of James Baker, the Personal Envoy of the United Nations Secretary General, who is currently engaged in an attempt to resolve the dispute. We look forward to the interim reports on the situation from the Secretary General, in January and again in February.


Mr. David: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about Britain's relationship with Ukraine with reference to the enlargement of the EU. [25376]

Peter Hain: The Government support a closer relationship between the EU and Ukraine and welcome recent progress including Ukraine's attendance at the enlarged European conference meeting in October and the agreement of an EU-Ukraine Action Plan on Justice and Home Affairs. The Government recognise the potential impact on Ukraine of the forthcoming enlargement of the European Union and support the European Commission's efforts to ensure that this is taken into account, eg by supporting joint programmes with EU candidates aimed at improving border management.

The Government consider that EU enlargement presents opportunities for Ukraine, particularly in the fields of trade and investment. The UK has urged Ukraine to continue with its political and economic reforms, so it is able to exploit these opportunities fully.

Accession to the World Trade Organisation—an area where the UK is giving bilateral technical assistance—will be a vital step in this direction.


Mr. Dawson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what criteria will be used in determining the date for resuming the EU-Sudan dialogue; if he will outline the criteria by which future progress will be measured; and if he will make a statement. [25374]

Mr. Bradshaw: At the end of 2001 the EU and the Sudanese Government agreed to continue and intensify the EU-Sudan dialogue, chaired by our ambassador during the latter half of the year, for a further 12 months. The dialogue is therefore on-going. The continued dialogue will allow for regular joint assessments of concrete and verifiable progress achieved with respect to democracy

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and human rights and in the peace process. For its part, the EU agreed to achieve the launch of the Humanitarian Plus programme.

We are pleased with the progress achieved during the course of the dialogue last year. There was some progress on human rights and democratisation. The Council of Ministers is somewhat more broadly based. The Umma Party is back and operating as a political party within Sudan. New newspapers are permitting a freer expression of political debate. There is some moderation of police and security activity, though abuses undoubtedly occur. Work continues to confront the problem of abductions. But in all these areas there is much more to do and we shall continue to address these issues during the course of this year.

Telephone Bugging

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether hon. Members and peers have their office and home telephone conversations (a) recorded and (b) listened to on the instruction of the Foreign Office. [25007]

Mr. Straw: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister gave the hon. Member for Lewes (Norman Baker) on 19 December 2001, Official Report, column 366W.

The Secretary of State alone can sign an interception of communications warrant; the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 lists the authorities that may apply for such a warrant.


Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the situation on the borders of Macedonia and the progress of British forces there. [24973]

Mr. MacShane: We strongly support Macedonia's sovereignty and territorial integrity. British forces in Kosovo as part of KFOR have contributed significantly to successful operations on the Macedonia/Kosovo border in which over 5,000 weapons and 224,000 rounds of ammunition have been seized and over 1,200 people detained while illegally crossing the border.


Mr. David: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the recent decision of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group to readmit Fiji to the Councils of the Commonwealth and on the implications for UK policy on Fiji. [26094]

Mr. MacShane: The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group discussed developments in Fiji at its meeting in London on 20 December. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State represented the United Kingdom. The Group welcomed the holding of broadly free and fair elections in Fiji in August and September 2001. In recognition of this and the fact that the Fiji Government were now addressing the current uncertainty over their own constitutionality in a responsible manner, the Group decided that the conditions were now right to readmit Fiji to the Councils of the Commonwealth. However, in view

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of the remaining uncertainty over the Government's constitutionality the Group also decided that Fiji should remain on its agenda and that the Secretary General's Special Envoy, Justice Pius Langa of South Africa should remain engaged.

In view of this we decided on 20 December to lift the targeted package of measures that the then Minister of State, my hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, West (Mr. Battle) announced on 21 July 2000. We will once again consider applications for funding for small projects from the Fiji Government in the areas of good governance, human rights, conflict prevention and the environment. We have also ended our blanket ban on joint military exercises and visits to Fiji by Royal Navy ships—possible co-operation in this area will be considered on a case-by-case basis. And in keeping with national and EU criteria, we will continue not to issue export licences for military or security equipment where there is a clear risk that it will be used for internal repression. We will not hesitate to re-impose these measures, and even consider extending their scope, in the event that the Government of Fiji fail to meet their constitutional obligations to all of Fiji's citizens.

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