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Gibraltar

25. Mr. Francois: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the status is of the discussions with the Spanish Government on the future of Gibraltar. [62129]

Peter Hain: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary gave earlier in the House today to the hon. Member for Chorley (Mr. Hoyle).

Malawi

26. Diana Organ: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he next intends to visit Malawi to discuss bilateral relations. [62130]

Mr. MacShane: The Secretary of State has no plans to visit Malawi.

Kashmir

27. Mr. Doran: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on plans for monitoring the forthcoming elections in Jammu and Kashmir. [62131]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: We welcome the Indian Government's commitment to hold free and fair elections later this year in Jammu and Kashmir. We also welcome the measures announced recently by the Chief Election Commissioner aimed at delivering that commitment, including the presence of Indian and international monitors.

29. Mr. Viggers: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what role the UK Government will play in easing tensions between India and Pakistan. [62133]

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36. Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the UK Government's role in reducing tension in Kashmir. [62141]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: We have been working actively with our partners in the international community to encourage both India and Pakistan to reduce tensions, and to help create the conditions for them to negotiate a long-term solution to their differences.

As part of the co-ordinated international diplomatic effort, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary visited Pakistan and India on 28 and 29 May. He is in regular contact with both sides, and with our key international partners. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has also spoken at length to both sides, and to world leaders, including Presidents Bush and Putin, about the situation.

33. Mr. Rooney: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his assessment is of the present situation in Kashmir. [62138]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given earlier in the House today by my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary to the hon. Member for Mid-Worcestershire (Mr. Luff).

EU Overseas Aid

32. Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent meetings he has had with his EU counterparts regarding the distribution of the EU overseas aid package. [62137]

Peter Hain: The General Affairs Council held its annual "orientation" debate on the EU's external action, including the EC external budget, on 18 February. There was a brief follow-up discussion at the May 13 GAC meeting. The negotiations on the EC budget for 2003 are under way at official level in Brussels.

European Commission

35. Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the European Commission's role in foreign policy development. [62140]

Peter Hain: The Commission bears responsibility for implementing a range of European foreign policy tools. These include external trade questions (including sanctions), European external assistance and some external aspects of Justice and Home Affairs. The European Commission is not, however, responsible for the European Union's common foreign and security policy, which is intergovernmental (Title V of the treaty on European Union), though the Commission is fully associated with the Union's foreign and security policy.

Geneva Convention

37. Mr. Blunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the effectiveness of the Fourth Geneva convention. [62142]

Mr. MacShane: Together with their 1977 additional protocols, the four Geneva conventions of 1949 remain the cornerstone of international humanitarian law. The Fourth Geneva convention is the most lengthy, affording

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protection to civilian populations, which the experiences of the second world war showed to be singularly deficient in the international legal instruments adopted hitherto. The Government consider that the conventions have collectively stood the test of time and that, where properly applied, the Fourth convention and additional protocols offer a high degree of protection and serve to reduce the degree of suffering to which civilians may be exposed by conflict.

East Timor

38. Ms Bridget Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what continuing support the Government will offer to East Timor. [62143]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave earlier in the House today to my hon. Friend the Member for Wigan (Mr. Turner).

Performance Targets

Tony Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the performance targets that his Department, its agencies and non- departmental public bodies are required to meet, apart from those set out in the public service agreements for 1999 to 2002 and 2001 to 2004; and if he will specify for each target (a) who sets it and (b) who monitors achievement against it. [60470]

Mr. MacShane: In addition to the performance targets listed in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's public service agreements for 1999 to 2002 and 2001 to 2004, the FCO's service delivery agreement, agreed under the 2000 Spending Review, contains a number of targets for the period 2001 to 2004. Progress against the FCO's SDA targets is monitored by the FCO, using a combination of internally-generated management information, and through a series of scorecard measures agreed with HM Treasury. The FCO's current PSA, SDA, and information on scorecards can be consulted on the FCO website (www.fco.gov.uk). The following public bodes sponsored by the FCO have performance targets:








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