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Anti-Satellite Weapons

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The Outer Space Treaty does not specifically prohibit the possession or use of anti-satellite weapons. The United Kingdom is not a party to the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and it is therefore not for Her Majesty's Government to comment on its interpretation.

Boycotts: UK Policy

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: We have always been opposed to the Arab boycott of Israel, and strongly encourage British firms not to allow it to interfere with their trade with Israel.

We do not support the US boycott of Cuba and have passed legislation which counteracts any extra-territorial provisions in the US legislation. We continue to lobby against extra-territorial elements in proposed US legislation to tighten the boycott.

It is not the EU's policy to isolate Iran, and we do not regard a trade embargo to be an appropriate measure. The US government is aware of our position.

UN Register of Conventional Arms: UK Weapons Transfers

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The UN Register of Conventional Arms covers transfers of major offensive weapons as listed below:


    Battle tanks;


    Armoured combat vehicles;


    Large calibre artillery systems;


    Combat aircraft;


    Attack helicopters;


    Warships;


    Missiles and missile launchers

We have submitted full returns to the Register for 1992, 1993 and 1994. Copies of these returns have been placed in the Libraries of the House. A return will shortly be submitted to the UN for 1995.

The UK regards a transfer as having taken place when the importing country has title and control of the equipment. Only complete systems are included. We do not submit data on spares, maintenance equipment or other supporting items. Similarly, equipment transferred to museums, for trial purposes, or transferred following refurbishment, repair or testing in the UK is not included.

Economic Sanctions

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether it is in accordance with international law or World Trade Organisation rules for one country to declare economic sanctions on another without the approval of the UN Security Council.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: Whether economic sanctions are permissible under international law in the absence of a UN Security Council Resolution depends on all the circumstances. Within the context of the World Trade Organisation, GATT Article XX and XXI allow action to be taken by a member against another member in the cases set out in those articles.

Destabilisation of Foreign Governments

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they consider that the mounting of destabilisation programmes by one government against another is in accordance with international law, or whether such programmes constitute the encouragement of terrorism and insurrection, and what status do they consider the programme agreed by President Clinton and the US Congress with respect to Iran has in international law.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The guiding principles in the relations between States are to be found in the Charter of the United Nations and in the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among

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States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 24 October 1970.

Former Yugoslavia: Arms Embargo

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they can confirm or deny earlier reports that the Central Intelligence Agency had been active both in breaching the arms embargo in ex-Yugoslavia and in conveying militarily significant intelligence to the Croatian and Bosnian Governments.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The US Administration have repeatedly said that they have not breached the arms embargo in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Former Yugoslavia: CIA Activities

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is acting in ex-Yugoslavia (as reported in the International Herald Tribune, 15 January) under the full political control of NATO or of the UN High Representative; if not, what is its status in international law in the area.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The CIA's activities are a matter for the Americans, not NATO or the High Representative.

Bosnian Government Forces: Training

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they and NATO have approved any plan agreed between the United States Administration and the Bosnian Government that retired United States military personnel should, as mercenaries, train and arm Bosnian Muslim and Croatians troops; and whether they and other NATO allies intend to support any such plan in the United Nations Security Council if it comes before them at the end of the first 90-day UN arms embargo.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: I refer the noble Lord to the Answer I gave him on 14 December 1995 at col. WA 115.

Any arm and train programme must be separate from the NATO Implementation Force and will be consistent with UN Security Council Resolutions and relevant arms control agreements.

Bosnian/Turkish Co-operation Agreement

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the Turkish Government's US-brokered "defence treaty" with Bosnia has been examined and approved in NATO.

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Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The military training, technical and scientific co-operation agreement signed between the Bosnian and Turkish Governments in August 1995 is a bilateral accord. It is not a matter for NATO.

Former Yugoslavia: Military Equipment Testing

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What United States firms are currently testing military equipment in any part of former Yugoslavia; whether these procedures have been approved by NATO, and whether the firms are paying rent to anyone, and if so to whom.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: We are not aware of any US firms currently testing military equipment in any part of the former Yugoslavia.

UN Contributions: Arrears

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they are aware of any monies currently owed to the United Nations by the United States; and, if so, how much and what steps are they taking to ensure payment.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: At 15 December 1995, the United States owed the United Nations over $1.23 billion in outstanding assessed contributions (i.e., $414 million to the UN Regular Budget and $816 million to UN peacekeeping budgets).

We continue to emphasise in contacts with the US Administration and Congress, including at ministerial level, that the US has a legal obligation under the UN Charter to pay its assessed contributions promptly and in full.

We have also put forward proposals for reform of the UN scales of assessment which are designed to resolve the existing anomalies and to lead to a fairer, more transparent scale. We hope that a negotiated agreement on a reform of the scales on these lines would provide the basis for the US to clear its outstanding arrears and pay its assessed contributions.

Turkey: PKK Cease-fire Proposal

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What significance they attach to the recent third offer of a mutual cease-fire made by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) after 11 years of armed conflict in Turkey.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: We frequently make clear to the Turkish authorities our concern that the situation in south-east Turkey should not be viewed exclusively through a military prism. But we question the credibility of any ceasefire declarations by the PKK, whose terrorist acts we unreservedly condemn. The unilateral ceasefire appears to have been broken by the PKK on 16 January, with the killing of 11 civilians.

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Khiam Prison: Detainees

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is their latest information about the number of those detained in Khiam fortress by the "South Lebanese Army"; and whether the ICRC has yet been allowed full access.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: According to ICRC figures, there are some 200 people detained in Khiam Prison. The ICRC was allowed access for the first time on 9 October 1995; the visit took place under the ICRC's standard working procedures.


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