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In recent months the Planning Service has been reviewing the rapidly increasing and unprecedented workload pressures being faced by the Agency. After careful consideration of the available options, it has been decided to concentrate as much of
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the Agencies resources as possible for a period of time, initially for six months, on the operational side of the business, where there are clear legal obligations to meet.
The reallocation of staff will, however, have a knock-on effect on emerging area plans. Resources are available to permit continued work on those plans which are at an advanced stage in the preparation process. However, progress on the remaining area plans, including West Tyrone, will be slower then previously programmed
The importance of delivering full area plan coverage is recognised and the Planning Service will move forward with the area plan programme as quickly as is feasible. At this point in time it is not possible to say precisely when this will be. Much will depend on how quickly the pressure on the operational side can be reduced. An announcement on revised timescales for the Area Plan programme, including the West Tyrone Area Plan, will be made in due course.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will estimate the costs resulting from the implementation of the European Working Time Directive on the working hours of (a) junior doctors, (b) senior doctors and (c) other health service personnel. 
Mr. Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many poppy fields have been (a) identified and (b) destroyed by UK forces in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban. 
Eradication has been carried out by the Afghan Government in the three years (200204) since the fall of the Taliban. The Afghan authorities estimated that 17,300 hectares were destroyed in 2002 and 21,000 hectares in 2003, although there was no independent
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verification of these figures and we cannot therefore be satisfied as to their accuracy. Eradication in 2004 was carried out by the Afghan Government and the US-supported Central Poppy Eradication Force, where independent verification estimated that less than 4,000 hectares were eradicated.
Mr. Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions have taken place between the Government and West African countries regarding Islamic fundamentalism; and what assessment has been made of the number of Al-Qaeda cells operating in the region. 
Mr. David Atkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether it is the Government's policy to support (a) the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan as including the former autonomous region of Nagorno Karabakh and (b) Azerbaijan's right to control its own borders; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Rammell: We will support any mechanism for the resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh dispute that both parties can accept and which has a realistic chance of delivering a lasting political settlement. The framework for discussing such mechanisms is the OSCE Minsk Group, co-chaired by Russia, the US and France. While the UK is not a member of the Minsk Group, we support its work and remain in close touch through the UK Special Representative to the South Caucasus, Sir Brian Fall.
Mr. Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received on the rights of the Bahá'í community in Iran to conduct social, educational and collective religious activities; and if he will make a statement. 
We continue to have serious concerns about the situation of the Bahái community in Iran. We are monitoring the situation, and are in close contact with Bahái representatives in the UK. They report that their co-religionists face increasing discrimination, including arbitrary arrest and detention, the denial of free worship, the disregard of property rights, the destruction of sites of religious importance, the closure of institutes of higher learning, the suspension of social, educational and community-related activities and the denial of employment, pensions and other benefits. Our EU partners and we have raised our concerns with the Iranian authorities on many occasions, and have urged them to respect and protect the human rights of Iran's
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religious minorities. Along with all other EU partners, we have co-sponsored a Canadian draft UN General Assembly resolution on the situation of human rights in Iran, including the rights of members of the Bahái community.
Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) whether Article 8a of Council Regulation (EC) 798/2004, as inserted by Article 1 of Council Regulation (EC) No 1853/2004, will prevent persons resident in, or companies registered in, the EU from entering into joint venture partnerships with Burmese state-owned enterprises listed in Annex IV; 
Mr. Straw: I refer the hon. Gentleman to Articles 8a(l) , 8a(2) and 14 of the Council Regulation (EC) 798/2004 (Official Journal, L 125, 28.4.2004, p.4), as amended by Council Regulation (EC) No. 1853/2004 (Official Journal, L 323, 26.10.2004, p.11).
"(a) the granting of any financial loan to Burmese state-owned enterprises as listed in Annex IV, or the acquisition of bonds, certificates of deposit, warrants or debentures, issued by these enterprises.
(b) the acquisition or extension of a participation in Burmese state-owned enterprises as listed in Annex IV. including the acquisition in full of such enterprises and the acquisition of shares and securities of a participating nature."
The application of these and the other provisions of Council Regulation (EC) No. 798/2004 in any given case will depend on all the facts and circumstances, and persons who think they may be affected should seek independent legal advice. It would not be appropriate for the Government to attempt to interpret the EC legislation on their behalf.
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