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Mr. Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will introduce legislation to restore full British citizenship to residents of the Island of St. Helena; and if he will make a statement. 
Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the offices approved for closure by the board of the British Council as a result of the Council's new strategy. 
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Mr. Hain [holding answer 18 December 2000]: The Council's new strategy involves updating its overseas network to ensure maximum impact in countries of greatest importance to the UK, and the expansion of new IT-based services, especially in western Europe. In line with this, the Council has announced the closure of subordinate offices in Hamburg, Cologne, Munich, Leipzig and Turin. The closure of the country directorates in Belarus, Ecuador, Lesotho and Swaziland, and the offices in Kaduna, Enugu and Ibadan in Nigeria have also been agreed. Further closures will be announced over the next five years after consultation with the relevant authorities in each country and the staff affected.
Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions his Department has had with the British Council concerning the closure of British Council offices in Sierra Leone. 
Mr. Hain [holding answer 18 December 2000]: The British Council has discussed all its proposals for its overseas network with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The conclusions on Sierra Leone are noted in the answer I gave the hon. Member on 6 November 2000, Official Report, column 49W.
Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs where he expects the Antarctic Environmental Protocol Secretariat to be located; and what the United Kingdom financial and staffing contributions will be. 
Mr. Battle: The issue of the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat, including its location, is likely to be discussed at the next Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting. The date and venue of that meeting have yet to be confirmed. Matters relating to finance and staffing of the Secretariat have yet to receive substantive attention from Antarctic Treaty Parties.
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Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the total United Kingdom contribution has been to MINURSO since its establishment; and if he will make a statement on United Kingdom policy concerning its future. 
Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations have been made to the Government of Morocco concerning the future government of Western Sahara. 
Mr. Hain: Since December 1998 I have met Moroccan counterparts on four occasions--in the UK, Morocco and New York--to discuss a wide range of issues of mutual interest, including Western Sahara. At each meeting I have expressed our strong support for the efforts of the UN Secretary-General's Personal Envoy, James Baker, to resolve this dispute and have urged the Moroccan authorities to cooperate fully with his mission.
Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what meetings his Department has held with representatives of the Polisario Front concerning the future of the Western Sahara. 
Mr. Hain: In September in New York I met the Foreign Affairs Spokesman of the Polisario Front, Mr. Mohamed Ould Salech. To my knowledge, this was the first meeting between Polisario and a Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister. Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials met Polisario Front officials on numerous occasions in 2000, in the UK, New York and north Africa.
Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what actions have been taken recently at the United Nations to ensure that the proposed referendum on the future of the Western Sahara takes place. 
Mr. Hain: On 30 October, the UN Security Council unanimously agreed resolution 1324, extending the UN mandate in the Western Sahara until 28 February 2001. This resolution gives James Baker, the UN Secretary- General's Personal Envoy, further time to resolve problems with the Settlement Plan and to pursue a political solution with the parties to the dispute, Morocco and the Polisario Front.
Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what British representations there has been at the recent legal action in Chile against Augusto Pinochet Ugarte. 
Mr. Battle: None. It would not be appropriate for us to be represented at legal proceedings against Senator Pinochet in Chile, which are a matter for the Chilean courts. President Lagos has frequently emphasised the independence of the Chilean courts to administer justice in Chile. We welcome this.
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Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list those documents held by his Department concerning United Kingdom relations with Chile from 1970 to 1990; how many of these have been made public; and what plans he has to publish the remainder. 
Mr. Battle: It is not possible to provide a fully comprehensive list of documents without incurring disproportionate costs. Release of official files by Her Majesty's Government is governed by the Public Records Acts of 1958 and 1967; files are not normally released until they are thirty years old. Accordingly files on UK-Chilean relations in 1970 will be available at the Public Record Office from 2 January 2001 in class FCO 7.
Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what meetings have been held by staff of the British Embassy in Santiago with (a) human rights groups, (b) lawyers and (c) the Pinochet Foundation since October 1998. 
Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations have been made to the Government of Chile concerning the deaths of William Beausire and Father Michael Woodward; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Battle: The Government have made numerous representations to the Government of Chile, both through ministerial contacts and staff at HM Embassy in Santiago, concerning the deaths of William Beausire and Father Michael Woodward. The events surrounding their deaths were investigated by the Chilean National Commission on Truth and Reconciliation, and their conclusions are set out in the resulting Rettig Report. No new information about these deaths has come to light as a result of our representations.
Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what access to documents relating to operation Condor held in Asuncion, Paraguay, officials from his Department have had. 
Mr. Battle: The documents are held by the Centre of Documentation and Archive for the Defence of Human Rights. They are stored on the premises of the Supreme Court of Paraguay. The Ambassador understands that access would be possible but significant research would be required to extract information from them.
Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the documents held by his Department concerning operation Condor, indicating those that are in the public domain; and what plans he has to release the remainder. 
Mr. Battle: Operation Condor is referred to in a number of documents held by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. There are no plans to release these documents outside the normal 30-year rule for the release of official documents.
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