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Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans her Department has to improve facilities available at the British high commission in Harare; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. McCartney [holding answer 15 May 2006]: The Chinese Government have formally invited 160 countries, including the UK, to participate in the 2010 EXPO. We are considering that invitation. UK Trade and Investment has prepared a business case for UK participation and has had discussions with a wide range of possible stakeholders including other Government Departments, Devolved Administrations, VisitBritain, the British Council, city authorities and with many private sector companies.
Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if she will publish the preamble to the new draft constitution for Gibraltar prior to a referendum being held in the territory. 
Mr. Hoon: I am aware of the importance the people of Gibraltar attach to agreeing and publishing the preamble to the Constitution prior to a referendum being held. I will be discussing this matter further with the Chief Minister in London on 22 May.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions she has had with her US counterpart on entry restrictions for UK citizens with HIV/AIDS. 
Mr. McCartney: The Government have been participating in the UN Working Group elaborating a draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples for the past 11 years. It is likely that the international community will seek action on this text at the first session of the new Human Rights Council in June 2006. The UK had a number of concerns with the original draft of the Declaration, including on the issue of collective rights, but have participated fully in negotiations and worked with partners to seek solutions to the real and difficult issues in the text for both states and indigenous peoples. We believe that the concerns of parties on both sides of this debate have now been accommodated in the draft Declaration. If the Declaration is put forward for adoption at the forthcoming session of the Council, the UK will support it.
Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department is taking to encourage good relations between Muslims and Christians in central Sulawesi, Indonesia. 
Mr. McCartney: Through our embassy in Jakarta and our contacts with the Indonesian embassy in London, we continue to encourage the Governmentof Indonesia to ensure freedom of religion across Indonesia. The Interfaith Dialogue Conference held in Bali in July 2005, and co-chaired by the UK and Indonesia, is one prominent example of our work in support of good relations between faiths, both in Indonesia and other Association of South East Asian nations.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of Statefor Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations she has made to the Government of Indonesia about the (a) trials and (b) planned execution of Fabianus Tibo, Dominggus da Silva and Marianus Riwu; and if she will make a statement. 
Since my reply, the Supreme Court has turned down a second appeal by the three men. The review panel reached a unanimous verdict stating that there was no new evidence to warrant a further review of the case. Unless new evidence comes to light the three have no further recourse for appeals in Indonesia.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions she has had with her (a) US and (b) Russian counterpart on the US Administration's call for Russia to cease its support for the Iranian nuclear reactor at Bushehr; what the UK Government's position is on the US Administration's call; and if she will make a statement. 
Margaret Beckett: As set out in the 5 August 2005 proposal to Iran by the Governments of France, Germany and the UK, with the support of the High Representative of the EU, the Government fully support long-term co-operation in the civil nuclear field between Iran and Russia within the context of an overall and mutually acceptable agreement on long-term arrangements.
Dr. Howells: The United Nations Security Council reaffirmed in Resolution 1540 that the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons as well as their means of delivery constitutes a threat to international peace and security. The proliferation of nuclear weapons in the Middle East would be deeply damaging for stability and security in the region and beyond, and for the multilateral non-proliferation system.
We have serious concerns about the nature of Irans nuclear activities, its history of concealment and inadequate co-operation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and its failure to take the steps that the IAEA Board and the Security Council have deemed essential. These have all contributed to the international communitys lack of confidence that the aims of the Iranian nuclear programme are, as Iran claims, exclusively peaceful.
We are working, with our partners, to ensure that Iran meets in full the requirements of the IAEA Board and the Security Council, including reinstating a full suspension of all enrichment related and reprocessing activities, and returns to a negotiation on long-term arrangements.
Dr. Howells: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary is keen to visit Israel and the Occupied Territories. However, foreign engagements for my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary and other Ministers are kept under constant review. It is not our practice to announce such visits until they are finalised. Because of the unpredictable nature of world events, final decisions on overseas visits are often not possible until very shortly before the day of travel.
|Number of UK tourists (Thousand)|
Figures for the number of British citizens who have emigrated to Israel are not available. However, between 2004 and April 2006, the Israeli Ministry of Immigrant Absorption has reported that a total of 2,289 people have emigrated from western Europe to Israel:
|Number of emigrants from western Europe|
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions she has had with (a) Ministers and (b) officials from other Government Departments about British relations with the state of Israel; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether it is the policy of the Government to refuse to recognise Hamas so long as it retains its intent to destroy the State of Israel; and if she will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: We support the three principles set out by the Quartet (EU, US, UN and Russia) and that EU Foreign Ministers made clear on 30 January. These are that Hamas should renounce violence; recognise Israel; and accept previous agreements and obligations, including the Roadmap. Hamas needs to start implementing these principles and make clear the path they intend to take. We recognise Hamass democratic mandate as a result of free and fair elections. But with this mandate comes responsibilities. The full text of the Quartet statement of 30 January is available onthe Foreign and Commonwealth Office website at:http://www.fco.gov.uk/servlet/Front?pagename=OpenMarket/Xcelerate/ShowPage&c=Page&cid=l138869357937.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions she has had with the Government of Kenya on (a) sexual equality and (b) tackling homophobia. 
Mr. McCartney: The UK engages bilaterally with the Kenyan Government on human rights issues as they arise. Our high commissioner in Nairobi most recently emphasised the importance of promoting gender equality and tackling violence against women during a speech on 8 May at the Nairobi Women's Hospital.
Kenya has ratified most of the international human rights treaties and regional human rights instruments. These cover non-discrimination, including on the basis of sexual orientation. However, homosexuality is illegal in Kenya. We are concerned that this cuts across Kenya's international human rights obligations.
The EU is in the process of relaunching its discussions with the Government of Kenya, under the provisions of Article 8 of the Cotonou Agreement. These discussions are wide-ranging and cover economic and political governance, including human rights.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what measures her Department is taking (a) to assist and (b) to encourage President Gayoom of the Maldives to complete his promised democratic reforms; and if she will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: We welcome the important democratic changes that the Government of the Maldives have already introduced, including the legalisation of political parties in June 2005 and a recently published Roadmap for reform, which usefully set out some clear timescales. But we remain concerned about the pace of this and about the human rights situation in the Maldives, including freedom of expression and association and the right to fair trials conducted with due legal process. Some recent trials of political activists appear to have political motivations.
We monitor developments in the Maldives closely, regularly making clear both bilaterally (most recently Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials met the Maldivian Minister of State on 28 April) and with EU partners to the Government of the Maldives the need for progress with existing reforms and concerns about the need for further reform and improved human rights. We also maintain regular contact with the opposition parties.
Agreement on, and implementation of, further major democratic and constitutional changes will require an inclusive process reflecting the views of political parties, civil society and the general public in the Maldives. Dialogue between the political partiesis essential. We fully support the work of the Commonwealth Secretariat in facilitating dialogue on constitutional reform between the political parties.
Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many meetings the British ambassador in Nepal has had with the King of Nepal since 1 January; and on what dates each meeting took place. 
Dr. Howells: None. Our ambassador in Kathmandus last meeting with the King of Nepal was on21 December 2005, when he accompanied General Philip Trousdell, Colonel Commandant, Royal Gurkha Rifles, at the presentation of the Annual Report on the Brigade of Gurkhas. Prior to that, the ambassadors previous audience with the King was on 25 May 2005.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the government of Nepal about (a) human rights, (b) good governance and (c) the transition to democracy. 
Dr. Howells: The UK has had regular discussions with the Nepalese Government at all levels on human rights, including with the King after he took direct power of the country last year. We have also made repeated public statements deploring human rights violations by both the Nepalese security forces and the Maoists. Most recently, senior Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials met the Nepalese ambassador on 2 March and raised our concerns about the continued detention of political leaders and activists, and the restrictions on the media. We also registered our ongoing concerns about the democratic deficit in Nepal with the absence of consultations between the parties for a full return to democracy, including through elections.
In October 2005, as EU President, the UK led an EU directors level Troika delegation to Nepal. The aim of the Troika visit was to encourage reconciliation and dialogue between the King and the political parties. They discussed human rights and the return to democracy with both the Government of Nepal and the political party leaders.
We have had several discussions with the Government of Nepal, including the King, calling on them to restore democracy and pursue a negotiated political settlement to the conflict involving all of the main actors. In February 2006 a parliamentary delegation led by the right hon. Member for Tonbridge and Malling (Sir John Stanley) visited Nepal and called on party leaders and Government officials to discuss the return of democracy in Nepal. The aim of the visit was to support the democratic movement and encourage the return of democracy.
Following three weeks of violent pro democracy demonstrations the King announced, on 24 April, that he will hand power to the parties and reinstate the Parliament. On 28 April 2006 the first session of the reinstated Parliament took place. We welcome the Kings announcement on 24 April and the appointment of the new Prime Minister, G. P. Koirala. On 30 April G. P. Koirala was sworn in to office and the Parliament agreed his proposals to reciprocate the Maoist cease-fire and for a constituent assembly. This represents a genuine opportunity for the restoration of peace,
democracy and human rights in Nepal. The UK stands ready, with international partners, to work with the new Government and the people of Nepal.
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