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Arms Trade

Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what end-use monitoring his Department carries out on the re-export of small arms, manufactured under British licence production agreements, by (a) MKEK (Turkey), (b) Pakistan Ordnance Factories and (c) Brugger and Thomet (Switzerland). [61983]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: We have no specific end-use monitoring arrangements on the re-export of small arms manufactured overseas under commercial licence from defence manufacturers located in the UK.

The Government focus their efforts on assessment of potential end-use at the export licensing stage, including where needed through checks made by our posts overseas. Carrying out effective risk assessment on end-users before making the export licensing decision is the surest way of preventing arms from falling into the wrong hands. The Government remain committed to carrying out end-use monitoring in those circumstances where this will genuinely add value to our efforts to minimise the risk of misuse and diversion and where such monitoring is practicable. Our overseas posts have standing instructions to report on allegations of misuse of any UK-origin defence equipment and to take this into account during the export licensing process.

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Licensed production of arms overseas typically depends on the supply to the overseas producer of controlled component parts and technology by the company licensing the manufacture of its products. Any controlled equipment or technology exported from the UK to a production facility licensed under a commercial arrangement between a British company and an overseas company would be assessed on a case by case basis against the consolidated EU and national arms export licensing criteria. Our criteria clearly set out our commitment to take account of the risk that exports might be diverted to an undesirable end-user or re-exported under undesirable conditions. The criteria were set out in the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Member for Neath (Peter Hain) to hon. Friend the Member for Crawley (Laura Moffatt) on 26 October 2000, Official Report, columns 199–203W.

Any exports of controlled equipment or technology that take place under commercial licensed production agreements entered into by UK-owned defence manufacturers located overseas would be subject to the export control rules of the country in which those defence manufacturers are located.

India/Pakistan

Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what services are available at the British high commissions in India and Pakistan for British citizens who do not wish to leave their respective countries. [61194]

Mr. Mike O'Brien [holding answer 13 June 2002]: We have been advising Britons to leave Pakistan since 31 May. We continue to do everything we can to help any British national who chooses to remain in India or Pakistan despite our advice. Our posts in India continue to provide the full range of consular services. While Chennai and Kolkata continue to offer a full visa service, a reduction in staff means that our visa services are more limited in Delhi and Mumbai.

In Pakistan we have recently closed our mission in Lahore but our posts in Islamabad and Karachi are still offering the full range of consular services. Reduced staff levels there mean, however, that services may take longer to provide. Furthermore, Karachi is no longer able to offer a visa service and Islamabad is only able to offer a much reduced visa service.

We have advised British nationals who choose to remain in either country to stay in touch with our high commissions, and to monitor the media (including our website—www.fco.gov.uk). We stay in touch with British nationals who have registered with us through a network of wardens (such networks are maintained by FCO diplomatic posts in many countries overseas; wardens are volunteers who help to disseminate information to the resident British community) in both India and Pakistan, and we are encouraging any British national who remains in either country, and who has not registered with the high commission, to do so.

Peru

Mr. Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on relations with Peru. [62783]

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Mr. MacShane: We enjoy good relations. I visited Peru for the inauguration of President Toledo last July. The Prime Minister met President Toledo at the EU-Latin American and Caribbean summit on 17 May. HRH the Duke of York paid an official visit to Peru in March. DFID's development co-operation programme stands at approximately £4.5 million per annum and we have committed a further £4 million, over five years, to President Toledo's anti-poverty economic recovery programme "A Trahajar". We are also supporting the rebuilding of democracy and support for human rights in Peru, as well as indigenous rights, police and military reform and drugs co-operation. The UK is one of Peru's main trading partners in the EU, and one of the largest foreign investors in Peru.

Timber

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what new steps the Government will take to verify the implementation of the bilateral agreement between the United Kingdom and Indonesia regarding the trade in illegal timber products. [63058]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: Work towards implementation of this memorandum of understanding is ongoing both in the UK and in Indonesia. We are currently negotiating an action plan to implement the MOU with the Government of Indonesia in consultation with civil society and the private sector in both countries. The action plan will include means for monitoring progress and should be finalised by September this year.

Israel/Palestine

Mr. Alan Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his estimate is of the area by (a) acreage and (b) location on the (i) Israeli and (ii) Palestinian side of the planned and actual fence and trench which goes beyond their borders as defined by the (A) 1947 and (B) 1967 UN Resolutions. [63355]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The fence and trench are at an early stage of construction. We do not have definitive figures on the areas of Israeli and Palestinian territory affected by the proposed or actual construction. We will continue to monitor the facts on the ground.

Mr. Alan Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will publish a map of the fence and trench (a) planned and (b) under construction between Israel and the Palestinian west bank. [63356]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: Her Majesty's Government have no plans to publish maps of Israeli Government proposals for a fence and trench. This is a matter for the Israeli Government.

Mr. Alan Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations (a) have been made and (b) he plans to make to (i) the Israeli Government and (ii) Arab nations concerning the plans by Israel to build a fence and trench dividing Israel and the Palestinian west bank; and if he will make a statement. [63354]

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Mr. Mike O'Brien: We have repeatedly made clear to the Israeli Government that only a political process leading to a comprehensive settlement will produce lasting peace. Physical barriers alone will not give the Israeli people the long-term security they deserve. Our efforts with Arab and other Governments will continue to focus on breaking the cycle of violence by restarting the political process. I raised this issue with the Israeli ambassador last week.

Mr. Alan Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if it is his Department's policy to support the construction of a fence and trench dividing Israel and the Palestinian west bank; and if he will make a statement. [63358]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: It is not. We do not believe that the construction of a fence and trench dividing Israel and the west bank will provide lasting security for Israel, which can only be achieved through negotiation of a permanent settlement by Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Mr. Alan Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his Department's estimate is of the number of Israeli civilians killed by Palestinian suicide bombers who were understood to have entered Israel from (a) the Palestinian west bank and (b) Gaza. [63360]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: According to Israeli Defence Forces figures, 215 Israeli civilians have been killed by suicide bombings since the beginning of the current intifada. The Israeli Defence Forces claim that no suicide attack inside the Green Line has come from Gaza, and that all have originated in the west bank.

Mr. Alan Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the (a) length, (b) structure, (c) size and (d) defensive effectiveness of the fence and trench being constructed between Israel and the Palestinian west bank. [63357]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: At present, the fence and trench are at an early stage of construction. We continue to monitor the facts on the ground as they develop.

Mr. Alan Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the Government of the United States concerning the construction of a fence and trench dividing Israel and the Palestinian west bank; and if he will make a statement. [63359]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: We have not yet discussed Israel's construction of a security fence with the Government of the United States.


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