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Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the notifications of the Intelligence Service and GCHQ in relation to Part III of the Data Protection Act 1998 are up to date; whether these agencies are to notify purposes associated with the processing of personal data (a) to assist the police and (b) to protect the economic well-being of the state; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Straw: The notifications of the Secret Intelligence Service and GCHQ under Part III of the Data Protection Act are up to date and are available on the Data Protection Register which can be viewed on the website of the Information Commissioner www.drp.gov.uk. There is no intention to make any notification in respect of the
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statutory functions of SIS and GCHQ as defined by the Intelligence Service Act 1994. The requirement for an exemption to safeguard national security under Section 28 of the Data Protection Act is not dependent upon the personal data being processed for a national security purpose.
Mr. Heath: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has to establish permanent offices of the British Council in (a) Bishkek, (b) Astana and (c) Yerevan. 
Peter Hain: British Council activities in Kyrgystan are currently managed from Almaty. The opening of an office in Bishkek is currently under discussion. There are no plans to open an office in Astana. British Council activities in Kazakhstan are directed from Almaty. A British Council office opened in Yerevan in June 2001.
Mr. Heath: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has to change the permanent diplomatic presence in (a) Dushanbe, (b) Bishkek, (c) Ashgabat and (d) Tashkent. 
Peter Hain: The Government hope to have diplomatic representation in Dushanbe soon; we also plan to open a full embassy in Bishkek in 2003, and a diplomat will be posted to Bishkek early next year to supervise the setting up of the mission; there are no current plans to change the diplomatic presence in Ashgabat; the embassy in Tashkent will be shortly reinforced with a defence attaché, and a drugs liaison officer will be posted in the summer of 2002.
Peter Hain: The Government hope to have diplomatic representation in Dushanbe soon; we also plan to open a full embassy in Bishkek in 2003, and a diplomat will be posted to Bishkek early next year to supervise the setting up of the mission; the embassy in Tashkent will be shortly reinforced with a defence attaché, and a drugs liaison officer will be posted in summer 2002. We have recently reinforced the embassy in Ashgabat with a drugs liaison officer, and a regional defence attaché has been posted to Almaty. The opening of an embassy in Bishkek and an office in Dushanbe will also strengthen the capabilities of the embassies in Almaty and Tashkent respectively, which currently cover those countries, by freeing up resources.
Mr. Bradshaw: We plan to post a drugs liaison officer to Tashkent from summer 2002. This will reinforce our drug liaison capacity in the region following the recent posting of a drugs liaison officer to Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.
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Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the impact on the security of intelligence within NATO arising from (a) the recent changes in senior personnel in Polish intelligence services and (b) the expulsion from Poland of the representative of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation. 
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about the assistance rendered to (a) British and (b) other coalition forces by Russia since 11 September. 
Mr. Bradshaw: President Putin's statement of 24 September committed Russia to supporting the coalition, opening its airspace to humanitarian flights, intelligence co-operation, search and rescue, and support for western bases in central Asia.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the threat of Muslim fundamentalism to the political stability of countries bordering Afghanistan. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Religious beliefs, peacefully held, should pose no threat to any Government. But the extremist belief that the violent pursuit of political goals is justified poses a threat to the people of many countries, including those that border Afghanistan. However, extremists prepared to use indiscriminate violence in support of their religious, political or ideological aims form only a small proportion of the population of the countries bordering Afghanistan. We will continue to work bilaterally and multilaterally with these countries to preserve regional stability.
Mr. Ian Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the involvement of al-Qaeda in the murder of three British hostages in Chechnya in 1998. 
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know for certain the circumstances behind the deaths of the four men in December 1998. To date we have not seen any corroborating evidence that bin Laden or the Taliban ordered the deaths of the four men.
We first became aware of the allegation last year, when it appeared in an official Russian publication called "Chechnya: The White Paper". A similar article appeared in the Russian newspaper "Gazeta" on 24 October 2001. To date, we have been unable to verify the story, although we have been in contact with the Russian authorities and the author of the "Gazeta" article.
Mr. Bradshaw: The future Government and constitution of Afghanistan is for Afghans to decide, with the support of the United Nations, UN Special Representative Brahimi and the international community.
The ex-King is a respected figure in Afghanistan and he could play a useful role in garnering supporting among all Afghans for these efforts. We welcome the meeting of Afghan representatives in Bonn on 27 November at which the ex-King will be represented.
Dr. Moonie: There are a number of Ministry of Defence sites in the Bicester area. The Defence Logistics Organisation Caversfield (formerly DCTA Caversfield) is operational. The adjacent Caversfield married quarters are occupied, in the main, by United States forces personnel. RAF Bicester is being promoted through the review of the local plan and is likely to be sold by 200405, once the planning issues have been resolved.
At the Defence Storage and Distribution Agency Bicester there are three sites (A, B and G) which are surplus to the long-term requirements of the agency and will no longer be required by them after 2004 or earlier.
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