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Botswana

Ms Atherton: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the policy of the Botswanian Government to relocate the bushmen is in accordance with the terms of the programme to support and improve protected reserves agreed between the European Union and the Botswanian Government. [69224]

Mr. MacShane: The relocation of the bushmen from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve is not linked in any way to the terms of the EU programme. While the programme allows for support to inhabitants of the community-use zones adjacent to game reserves, it is not dependent on relocation of people from those reserves.

Ms Atherton: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what part Her Majesty's Government played in negotiating the programme between the European Union and the Botswanian Government to support and improve protected reserves; [69223]

Mr. MacShane: We played no direct role in negotiating the programme to support and improve protected reserves. The European Commission does this on behalf of the EU under agreed procedures governing disbursement of the European Development Fund.

Afghanistan

Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the repatriation of refugees to Afghanistan from neighbouring countries; and if he will make a statement on the infrastructural and security situation within Afghanistan. [69370]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: So far approximately 1.2 million refugees have returned to Afghanistan from neighbouring countries. Since September 2001, the UK has contributed over £5 million to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) for their programme of assistance to Afghan refugees, and over £3.5 million to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) for assistance to internally displaced persons (IDPs) and returnees to Afghanistan. We are also supporting a number of other humanitarian programmes which will help to create an environment for the sustainable return of both refugees and IDPs, including the United Nations-led programme of mine clearance and mine awareness in Afghanistan.

Years of fighting and instability have taken their toll on Afghan infrastructure, which has had a direct impact on humanitarian, reconstruction and rehabilitation work in Afghanistan. A World bank trust fund has been established to co-ordinate international development assistance for Afghanistan, including for infrastructure.

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The overall security situation in Kabul has improved greatly since ISAF began its operations there last December. However, the security situation elsewhere in Afghanistan is more uncertain, and there are many challenges still to face. The key to improving security throughout Afghanistan is to offer the Afghans assistance with Security Sector Reform. We are leading on the counter narcotics effort, with the US leading on army training, the Germans on police training, the Italians on judicial reform, and the Japanese on demobilisation.

United States Farm Act

Mr. Davidson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the impact of the new United States Farm Act on the (a) enlargement of the EU and (b) the development of agricultural exports from the Third World. [69227]

Peter Hain: The information is as follows:


(a) The Government are a champion of EU enlargement and are committed to concluding negotiations by the end of this year with those candidates who are ready. The US Farm Act will have no direct consequences for the substance and timing of the EU enlargement process.
(b) Further liberalisation of agricultural trade is important for fostering trade led growth, and thus poverty reduction, in developing countries. These are key UK objectives in implementing the WTO's Doha Development Agenda. Regrettably, the US Farm Act seems likely to further distort world markets.

Kashmir

Mr. Hendrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his most recent assessment is of the UK's role in relation to the dispute between India and Pakistan over Kashmir. [69498]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: As my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary made clear in the House on 25 June 2002, Official Report, column 728, this is at root a bilateral matter, which can be resolved only by direct dialogue between the parties. We welcome the lowering of tensions but remain deeply concerned about the military mobilisation on both sides of the border. We will remain fully engaged in seeking further de-escalation and encouraging India and Pakistan to work towards a lasting settlement of all their differences, including Kashmir.

As part of this engagement, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence visited the region on 2–3 July, and my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary will be visiting again later this week. The purpose of both visits is to encourage dialogue between India and Pakistan.

Departmental Travel

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his policy is on using (a) UK and (b) non-UK carriers. [69689]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: Our policy is to use airlines that provide the best value for money in terms of cost, safety and service on the routes flown.

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Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what internal budgetary rules govern the travel of his Department's staff, embassy staff and associated staff. [69690]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: Rules governing expenditure on staff travel at home and overseas are set out in the FCO Code of Management. These cover entitlements, authorisation of expenditure, value for money and budgeting.

Cyprus

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action the British high commissioner to Cyprus has taken to bring together Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots living on Cyprus to discuss issues of general interest; when such meetings have taken place during the last 12 months; and where the meetings took place. [69732]

Peter Hain: The Government are committed to developing practical co-operation between the two communities on and off the island. I myself hosted a reception and gave a speech to an intercommunal gathering on 10 April which was attended by senior politicians from both communities. The British high commission has made a significant contribution to intercommunal dialogue, bringing Turkish and Greek Cypriots together at a wide range of events.

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the United Kingdom Government's relations with the Government of the Republic of Cyprus. [69704]

Peter Hain: The Government enjoy excellent relations with the Government of the Republic of Cyprus.

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what the United Kingdom Government's policy is on the United Nations resolutions that have been passed as the basis of a settlement for Cyprus; [69750]

Peter Hain: It is for the two sides in Cyprus to agree the terms of a settlement. However, the Government are committed to UN Security Council Resolution 1250 of June 1999 which called upon the two leaders to give their full support to a comprehensive negotiation under the auspices of the Secretary-General for a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement in Cyprus, which takes full consideration of relevant Security Council resolutions and treaties. We are working hard to help all involved in the current direct talks to move negotiations forward and urging both sides to co-operate fully in such an effort, in particular to work with the Secretary-General's Special Adviser, Alvaro de Soto.

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) if the recent statement made by Lord Hannay, during a recent Turkish television interview on Cyprus, was (a) a statement of United

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Kingdom Government policy on Cyprus and (b) made with approval of his Department; and if he will make a statement; [69700]

Peter Hain: Lord Hannay is the Government's Special Representative on Cyprus, and speaks with our full support.

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he last met President Clerides of the Republic of Cyprus; what issues were discussed; and if he will make a statement. [69730]

Peter Hain: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary and President Clerides both attended the European Council in Seville in June. I met him in April.

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what salary has been paid to Lord Hannay as the United Kingdom adviser on Cyprus in each of the last five years; [69706]

Peter Hain: Between June 1997 and June 1998 Lord Hannay was employed by the United Kingdom Government to work as the UK adviser on Cyprus for 98 days and was paid a salary of £39,200.

Between June 1998 and June 1999 Lord Hannay was employed for 79 days and was paid a salary of £31,600.

Between June 1999 and June 2000 Lord Hannay was employed for 99.5 days and was paid a salary of £39,800.

Between June 2000 and June 2001 Lord Hannay was employed for 100.5 days and was paid a salary of £45,315.

Between June 2001 and June 2002 Lord Hannay was employed for 88.5 days and was paid a salary of £39,825. His expertise, authority and the respect in which he is held by both sides shows that this is good value for money.

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the policy is of the United Kingdom Government on the application of the Republic of Cyprus for the membership of the European Union. [69729]

Peter Hain: The Government welcome and indeed champions Cyprus' application to join the European Union. The Government's policy remains based on the position outlined by the Helsinki European Council, which stated that
"a political settlement will facilitate the accession of Cyprus to the European Union".

If no settlement has been reached by the completion of accession negotiations, the Council's decision on accession will be made without the above being a precondition. In this the Council will take account of all relevant factors.

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Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his estimate is of the number of settlers from mainland Turkey who are permanently settled in northern Cyprus. [69712]

Peter Hain: The number of Turkish citizens who have come from mainland Turkey to northern Cyprus is a matter of dispute between the various parties concerned. No authoritative figures are available.

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many United Nations peacekeeping forces are based in Cyprus. [69711]

Peter Hain: As of June 2002, UN forces in Cyprus (UNFICYP) numbered 1,206 military personnel, 35 civilian police, 44 international civilians and 103 local civilians.

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the British High Commissioner to the Republic of Cyprus last visited the occupied area of northern Cyprus; who he met; and what issues were discussed. [69709]

Peter Hain: The British High Commissioner and his staff in Nicosia maintain regular contacts on both sides of the green line, including on consular support for British nationals living in the north of Cyprus and support for a just, lasting and comprehensive settlement in Cyprus.

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had, and with whom, on the future of the town of Famagusta; and if he will make a statement. [69731]

Peter Hain: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has had no recent detailed discussions on the town of Famagusta. The future of the town of Famagusta is under discussion in the negotiations currently taking place under UN auspices for a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement in Cyprus, to which the Government give their full support.

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his policy is on the resolution of the European Parliament of 13 June that only a single sovereign Cyprus state should be permitted to accede to the European Union. [69767]

Peter Hain: The Government fully support the Conclusions of the Seville European Council, which state that
"as a Member State, Cyprus will need to speak with a single voice and ensure proper application of European Union law".

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many chapters the Republic of Cyprus has negotiated in its application for membership of the European Union. [69728]

Peter Hain: The Republic of Cyprus has opened 30 negotiating chapters and provisionally closed 28 in its accession negotiations with the European Union.


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