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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with Turkey about EU enlargement. 
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State met Foreign Minister Gurel on 24 September during his visit to London. They spent much of the meeting discussing EU Enlargement, with particular reference to Cyprus and Turkey. HMG welcomes the major reforms that Turkey has adopted in recent months and believes that Turkish accession to the EU would be in the best interests of Britain and of Europe as a whole.
General Affairs Council
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the outcome was of the General Affairs Council held on 21st to 22nd October; what the Government's stance was on each issue discussed, including its voting record; and if he will make a statement. 
My right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary and the then Minister for Europe represented the UK at the General Affairs and External Relations Council in Luxembourg on 21/22 October. Conclusions were agreed by consensus and no formal votes were taken. The Council adopted the XA" points listed in document 12354/1/02 PTS 44. Copies of this document will be placed in the Library of the House.
General Affairs Session
Progress of work in other Council Configurations
The Council took stock of developments in other Council configurations during September and October, noting that the issue of the EU Return Programme on Afghanistan and its financing would be on the November JHA Council's agenda.
Preparation of the European Council (Brussels 24/25 October)
Delegations welcomed Ireland's ratification of the Nice Treaty and broadly supported the annotated draft agenda for the European Council in accordance with new procedures agreed at Seville. The Council confirmed that ten countries were expected to accede to the EU by 2004 and that accession negotiations with these countries should be concluded at the Copenhagen European Council, with signature of the accession Treaty following in Athens in April 2003.
The Council also supported the Commission's evaluation of Romania and Bulgaria's progress, noting the Commission's plan to present updated pre-accession strategies for these countries at the Copenhagen European Council. Turkey's recent and substantial progress was also noted.
Agreement was found on the institutional questions (weighting of votes in the Council; QMV threshold; future size of the European Paliament and seat allocation).
The Council also agreed the EU Common Position on the Competition Policy Chapter with the Czech Republic. Consultations on this with Slovakia will continue.
The Council took stock of discussions with Lithuania and the Russian Federation and expressed the hope that a solution could be agreed at the EU/Russia summit on 11 November. The Council proposed that the following elements should be contained in the package: (i) Lithuania should implement national border control regulations by January 2003, in line with chapter 24 of the EU Accession Treaty; (ii) the Facilitated Transit Document (FTD) should be available as of January 2003, in accordance with the
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Commission communication of 18 September 2002; and (iii) use of Russian passports, FTDs and other valid travel documents should be sanctioned by Lithuania until December 2004, for transit by train.
Floods: establishment of an EU solidarity fund
The Council, Commission and Parliament have jointly agreed to a draft Institutional Agreement to establish an EU Solidarity Fund. Signature to the Agreement and formal adoption of the regulation by the Council will proceed as soon as possible, enabling the EU to demonstrate its solidarity with the victims of recent floods in Central Europe.
The Council took stock of the situation, following High Representative Solana's readout of 'Quartet' discussions on the roadmap towards achieving a comprehensive settlement by 2005. Ministers condemned the terrorist attack in Hadera, Northern Israel and expressed concern about the humanitarian situation in the Middle East.
The Council authorised the Commission to open negotiations for a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with Albania, in parallel to the Consultative Task Force (CTF) meetings, which will encourage further reforms.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Council noted the October election results, complimenting the authorities' efficient organisation but stating that the low turnout was disappointing. The Council called for the early creation of new governments committed to vigorous reform. The Council reconfirmed the EU's commitment to work actively with the new authorities to this end.
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY)
The Council regretted that the 13 October election turnout was insufficient to enable the election of a new President in Serbia. It urged all political parties to work together to ensure that the process of selecting a new President would be conducted in a manner safeguarding democratic stability in a period of reform.
The Council supported the Kimberley process' aim to establish an international certification scheme for global trade in rough diamonds. It agreed to take the necessary steps to support this and adopted a Declaration to this effect.
Relations with Russia
The Council took stock of preparations for the EU-Russia Summit, to be held in Copenhagen on 11 November 2002. The Summit is expected to assess the Russia-EU Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, and will discuss EU enlargement plus international issues.
Iran: human rights
Council conclusions were adopted on the establishment of an EU-Iran human rights dialogue. The Council welcomed Iran's agreement to this dialogue and underlined its concern at current violations of civil and political rights.
Indonesia: terrorist attack in Bali
The Council condemned the attacks of 12 October. It reaffirmed the EU's long-term commitment to the fight against terrorism and the need for the international community to act together.
The Council was briefed by the Presidency and the French delegation on the latest developments. The Council condemned the violence in Cote d'Ivoire, reiterating its attachment for the principles of the African Union, which condemns any recourse to force in order to obtain political change. It also welcomed the cease-fire agreement and offered support to ECOWAS mediation efforts.
Ministers had an exchange on the state of play concerning EU-NATO relations.
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Democratic Republic of Congo
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment has been made of the situation in the Ituri region of the Democratic Republic of Congo; and if he will make a statement. 
The security and humanitarian situation in the Ituri region remains serious as a result of ethnic clashes and fighting between rebel groups. The United Nations Secretary General has asked the Ugandan Peoples Defence Force (UPDF) to stay in the Ituri region to provide law and order, until an alternative Congolese force can perform this role. The UN peacekeeping operation has also been asked to increase its presence in Ituri.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what humanitarian assistance is being provided to the Ituri region of the Democratic Republic of Congo; and if he will make a statement. 
The UK is not at present providing any direct humanitarian assistance to the Ituri region. UK assistance to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is focused on human rights projects. Relief assistance is provided through the UN and international NGOs. This year the UK expects to spend over #14 million in the DRC on direct humanitarian and conflict resolution assistance.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations have been made to the Government of Uganda to ensure that its remaining forces in the Ituri region of the Democratic Republic of Congo cease partisan involvement in ethnic conflict; and if he will make a statement. 
The United Nations Secretary General has asked the Ugandan Peoples Defence Force (UPDF) to stay in the Ituri region to provide law and order, until an alternative Congolese force can perform this role. The UK has reminded the Ugandan Government of the UPDF obligations to the local population.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which UK companies were named in the report to the UN on 21st October by the UN Panel on Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as violating OECD guidelines; what representations have been made to these companies; and what action will be taken.
Twelve UK registered companies are amongst the 85 listed in Annex III of the UN Panel report (S2002/1146), which can be found on the UN website (www.un.org). The Panel alleges that these companies have violated the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. The report does not go into detail. We have encouraged the companies that have contacted us to seek further information from the UN. We are considering a substantive response to the report's recommendations.
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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the recommendations made by the report to the UN of 21st October by the UN Panel on Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources in the Democratic Republic of Congo, with particular reference to the recommendation to impose financial restrictions on companies and individuals involved in abuses; and if he will make a statement. 
We welcome the report, which recommends a wide range of potential actions. We are considering a substantive response. It is too early to comment on specific proposals.