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10 Jul 2003 : Column 978Wcontinued
Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he will reply to the letter dated 22 May 2003 from the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan, Home Office ref PO 9133/3. 
Mr. Rooney: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he will reply to the letters of 19 June 2003 from the hon. Member for Bradford, North regarding M. B. Dhaka, refs: (a) FV331/2003 and (b) K1636. 
Mr. Mullin: We are working closely with the Government of Burundi, countries in the region and international partners to help Burundi complete peacefully the period of transition laid down in the 2000 Arusha Accord.
The UK is supporting efforts by the regional initiative on Burundi and the African Mission to ensure effective implementation of an all-inclusive ceasefire. Two of the four rebel factions not included in the Arusha Accord have signed and are implementing ceasefire agreements. We continue to call on the FDD (Nkurunziza) to implement the 2 December ceasefire and the FNL (Rwasa) to enter the peace process without delay.
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Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the six provinces of Afghanistan for which the UK has responsibility for provincial reconstruction. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: There are five provinces that will be covered by the UK Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) based in the northern city of Mazar-e Sharif. These are Balkh, Faryab, Jowzjan, Samangan and Sar-e-Pol.
The PRT will not be directly responsible for provincial reconstruction, but will aim to help the Afghan effort to improve the security environment as well as facilitating Security Sector Reform (SSR) and reconstruction efforts.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with representatives of the Government of Botswana on the forced removal of tribal peoples from their homelands in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Mullin: Our high commission in Gaborone discusses issues relating to the Basarwa regularly with the Government of Botswana. The subject was raised during my Noble Friend, Baroness Amos, the then Minister for Africa's visit to Botswana on 1 April.
Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the proposals from the executive of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association on partnerships for global peace and prosperity. 
Mr. Mullin: The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association has determined that the central theme of its conference in Bangladesh in October will be "Partnerships for Global Peace and Prosperity". The agenda for the conference includes the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, human rights, free trade, anti-terrorism measures and the needs of small states. These are all issues in which the British Government take an active interest. The Commonwealth accepts that sustained action on all these fronts is vital. The UK will continue to play a significant part in the global effort needed.
Mr. MacShane: The Government support Croatia's EU aspirations. The Treaty of European Union establishes the procedure for processing a membership application. The relevant provisions state that any European state that respects the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and the rule of law may submit a membership application to the Council. The Council then forwards
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the application to the Commission for an Opinion on the applicant's readiness to begin accession negotiations, measured against the criteria set out at the Copenhagen European Council in 1993. Croatia's application for EU membership should be treated in accordance with these provisions.
Croatia applied for membership on 21 February 2003. The Council forwarded the application to the Commission on 14 April 2003. Croatia's application will be assessed on its merits. Croatia's economic performance has been strong. However, there is still progress to be made in a number of areas, in particular co-operation with the International Criminal Court for the former Yugoslavia, judicial reform, minority rights and refugee returns.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Government of Cuba regarding the cases of (a) Dr. Biscet and (b) J. C. G. Leiva. 
Mr. Rammell: The UK, along with EU Partners, is deeply concerned by the arrest and detention of peaceful opposition figures in Cuba, including Oscar Elias Biscet and Juan Carlos Leiva. We have repeatedly expressed our concerns to the Cuban Government. The EU has in recent months issued three statements calling for the release of all those imprisoned in Cuba on political grounds and the UK has made clear our strong support for this stance direct to the Cuban authorities.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the likely effect on Turkey's application for status as an EU candidate member of (a) non-compliance with the ECHR judgment in the Loizidou case, (b) the extent to which the elections in occupied Cyprus later this year are fairly conducted and (c) the extent to which the Copenhagen criteria relating to human rights are implemented in occupied Cyprus; and if he will make a statement. [R] 
We remain strong supporters of Turkey's EU candidacy. We encourage the Turks to continue their process of legislative reforms in order to meet the Copenhagen political criteria, and particularly the priorities set out in the revised Accession Partnership. We will continue to find practical ways to help Turkey implement these reforms.
The promotion and protection of human rights in the north of Cyprus would be best achieved through a comprehensive settlement on the basis of the UN plan. Turkey has repeatedly committed herself to supporting that process.
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Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his policy is on seeking the extradition of British citizens in occupied Cyprus who are wanted by the British police. [R] 
Mr. MacShane: As the international community, apart from Turkey, does not recognise the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus", there is no applicable extradition agreement and therefore no legal basis for the British authorities to seek the extradition of British citizens from the north of Cyprus.
Mr. Stevenson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the policy is of his Department regarding the use of goods and products manufactured in the UK by overseas embassies and consulates. 
FCO purchasing policy is in accordance with the Government's Public Purchasing Consolidated Guidelines, which require the procurement of goods and services to be based on value for money and that they should be acquired by competition unless there are convincing reasons to the contrary.
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Mr. Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his policy is on the incorporation of the Fundamental Charter for Human Rights into the European Constitution. 
Mr. MacShane: We have always supported the idea of a clear statement of fundamental rights, freedoms and principles applicable at Union level. Equally, we have always made it clear that incorporation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights into the constitutional Treaty would have to provide legal clarity and not extend EU competences.
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