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10 Mar 2004 : Column 1527Wcontinued
Glenda Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether British embassies and high commissions in the EU accession countries will issue UK workers registration certificates; and whether there will be a charge for such certificates. 
My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary indicated in his statement to the House on 23 February 2003, Official Report columns 2325, that, from 1 May, accession country nationals will have free movement across EU borders. They will not be required to apply for entry clearance to travel to the United Kingdom in search of work. With the exception of Malta and Cyprus, citizens of the new member states will need to register with the Home Office when they find a job in the UK, providing information about where and for whom they are working. Employers will be required to satisfy themselves that accession country nationals in their employ apply for and receive registration under this scheme.
The registration scheme will be run by the Immigration and Nationality Directorate. The Directorate is looking into whether all or part of the administrative costs of the scheme could be recovered through charges.
Registration under the scheme will be issued for 12 months, and within that period will be valid for as long as the worker is in the registered employment. The worker should apply to renew the registration if he or
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Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate his Department has made of the number of (a) Afghan National Army personnel and (b) Afghan police that will (i) have completed training and (ii) be working officially within Afghanistan by 30 June. 
Mr. Straw [holding answer 9 March 2004]: We currently estimate that around 10,000 Afghan National Army personnel and at least 5,000 Afghan police personnel will have completed training and be operational in Afghanistan by 30 June.
Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions his Department has had with the German Government regarding the role of the German military in eradicating poppy production in the north of Afghanistan. 
Mr. Straw [holding answer 9 March 2004]: As lead nation co-ordinating international counter-narcotics assistance to Afghanistan, the UK works closely with all Afghan and international partners, including Germany, to co-ordinate Afghanistan's drug control efforts to best effect. We have regular discussions with German counterparts about counter-narcotics assistance to Afghanistan.
Although no international military forces are involved in the Afghan campaign to eradicate opium poppy, we encourage the Afghan authorities to use existing liaison mechanisms to ensure that all drug enforcement interventions are de-conflicted with the
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wider security programmes in place. We understand the mandate for the German military forces in Afghanistan agreed by the German Parliament currently precludes any engagement in counter-narcotics activity of any type.
Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the British Government's objectives are for the conference on Afghan reconstruction in Berlin on 31 March and 1 April; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Straw [holding answer 9 March 2004]: We will use the Berlin Conference to reaffirm our commitment to Afghanistan; to encourage other donors to contribute additional resources to the reconstruction effort; and to take forward the Action Plans that emerged from the joint Afghan/UN/UK Counter-Narcotics Conference in Kabul on 9 February.
The conference will also provide an opportunity to take stock of progress to date against the Bonn Agreement of December 2001, and to agree with the Afghan Government and our international partners a blueprint for continued engagement over the next three to five years.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Development, made a Written Statement on 1 March 2004, Official Report, column 74WS, setting out the UK's increased pledge of at least £500 million for Afghanistan up to 200607. We are encouraging our international partners to follow our example and provide sufficient resources to allow Afghanistan to build on the achievements of the Bonn Process to date.
Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions his Department has had regarding the role played by the German Government in setting the agenda for the international summit on Afghanistan to be held in Berlin. 
Mr. Straw The agenda for the Berlin Conference on Afghanistan (31 March to 1 April) has been set by the Afghan Transitional Administration, in consultation with Germany and other international partners.
Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions his Department has had with the US Administration on stability in Uruzgun, Afghanistan during the period of February to 30 June 2004. 
Mr. Straw: Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials at all levels are in regular contact with their US counterparts on all aspects of the current situation in Afghanistan, including security and stability in the regions.
Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to his answer of 13 January 2004, Official Report, column 643W, on Cyprus, whether the University of Oslo has completed its report on the elections to the Assembly of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus; and if he will make a statement. 
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Mr. Rammell: Under the terms of the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration, the British Government agreed to restore Hong Kong to the People's Republic of China on 1 July 1997. A small number of military sites were covered by a separate Exchange of Notes in 1994 (Cm 2888 of June 1995). In practice the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government took over on 1 July 1997 the functions previously exercised by the colonial Hong Kong Government. This was done without any compensation and it was therefore not appropriate to put any value on what was handed back.
The Joint Declaration provides Hong Kong with a high degree of autonomy from mainland China except in foreign and defence affairs. The Joint Declaration states that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region "shall deal on its own with financial matters, including disposing of its financial resources" and "shall use its financial revenues exclusively for its own purposes and they shall not be handed over to the Central People's Government".
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to his answer of 15 December 2003, Official Report, column 733W, on Iraq, if he will make a statement on the extent of the involvement of Mr. Nadhmi Auchi in the company which has been awarded the licence for the provision of mobile telecommunications services in the central region of Iraq including Baghdad. 
Mr. Rammell: The Coalition Provisional Authority has informed us that the licence for the central Iraq sector, including Baghdad, was awarded to Orascom Iraq Holding Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Orascom Telecom Holding SAE, an Egyptian joint stock company. As the company is registered outside the UK, we are not in a position to verify information on its shareholders. Only UK registered companies are required to list their shareholders with Companies House.
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received of investigations by the Pentagon Inspector General into the awarding of contracts for the provision of mobile telecommunications services in Iraq; and if he will make a statement. 
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approval of the Fundamental Law in Iraq and (b) the 31 May deadline for elections to the transitional assembly. 
Mr. Straw [holding answer 9 March 2004]: The Transitional Administrative Law (TAL) was signed by the Iraqi Governing Council (IGC) on 8 March after intensive debate. The agreement on a TAL is a great achievement. The UN's recent report on the holding of the elections in Iraq concluded that properly organised elections to a Transitional National Assembly would not be feasible until late 2004 at the earliest and more probably early 2005. The IGC and the CPA have accepted the UN's recommendations on timings for the elections.
Sir Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what security arrangements have been agreed between the Coalition Provisional Authority and the Iraqi Governing Council; what time limits are attached to those agreements; what requirements they place on any future provisional government of Iraq; what their basis is in (a) Iraqi and (b) international law; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Straw [holding answer 9 March 2004]: The status of multinational forces in Iraq and the legal mandate that will govern their presence and operations after the handover of authority to an Iraqi Government remain under consideration.
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