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Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: We have raised the intimidation of members and employees of the People's Democracy Party (HADEP) with the Turkish authorities on numerous occasions. We are concerned at the continuing reports of arrests and harassment of HADEP party officials and supporters. We are closely monitoring the case against HADEP in the Turkish Constitutional Court. We will continue to reiterate to the Turkish authorities the importance the international community attaches to the treatment of democratic parties pursuing their policies by peaceful means.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: We are already taking such steps. The UK Permanent Representative to the European Union informed the Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER) in Brussels on 4 March of our intention to seek an amendment to the 1976 EC Act on Direct Elections in the current negotiations in Brussels on establishing Common Principles for European Parliamentary elections. Our embassies have taken parallel action in EU capitals. It would be premature to comment on the expected outcome of these negotiations, which are expected to take some months.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The overseas territories of member states participate in the European Union in a variety of ways. While there are similarities with Gibraltar in some instances, Gibraltar's overall status is unique.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The dependent territories which are able to vote in European parliamentary elections are the French Territories d'Outre-Mer (New Calendonia, French Polynesia, Wallis and Futana) and Collectivities Territoriales (Mayotte, St. Pierre and Miquelon). Other overseas territories which can vote in European parliamentary elections are part of the metropolitan member state for constitutional purposes and are not dependent territories. These include the Azores and Madeira in Portugal, the Canary Islands, Ceuta and Melilla in Spain, the Aland Islands in Finland and the French Departments d'Outre Mers.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The main difference is a constitutional one: Gibraltar is an overseas territory of the UK while Ceuta is deemed part of metropolitan Spain. Though each is within the European Union under a different provision of the Treaty of Rome, similar derogations in respect of the Community Customs Territory, VAT and the common agricultural and fisheries policies apply to both. Gibraltar transposes EC directives by local legislation while Ceuta relies on the legislature in Madrid. Ceuta participates in European parliamentary elections. At present Gibraltar does not.
(b) what such meetings have taken place; and
(c) what further such meetings have been arranged; giving in each case in (b) and (c) the date of the meeting and the British Minister involved.[HL1313]
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The Government have received, and continue to receive, regular visits from heads of government, foreign, trade and other Ministers from outside the European Union. No central record of such visits is kept. Nor is a central record kept of requests for meetings.
It is the Government's policy to maintain good relations and a dialogue with all countries and we are conscious that our relationships with members of the European Union should not be to the detriment of relations with countries outside the Union.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The letter, from a senior level in the Vatican to the Prime Minister, was received by our Embassy to the Holy See on 27 November and forwarded to the Foreign Office. It was passed to the Prime Minister's office and to the Home Office.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: Media and other reports suggest that Kosovo Albanians living in Europe and elsewhere are actively involved in fund-raising for the UCK. The Contact Group have no firm evidence concerning sources of weapons and training.
Under UN Security Council Resolution 1160 all states are obliged to prevent the sale or supply to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, including Kosovo, of arms and related material, and arming or training for terrorist activities there.
Our responsibilities under this resolution are clear. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (United Nations Sanctions) Order 1998 implemented the arms embargo imposed by the Resolution in UK law. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (United Nations Sanctions) (Amendment) Order 1999 came into effect on 12 February. The order makes it an offence to provide training or training facilities to assist in the carrying out of acts of terrorism in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, whether the training takes place outside or inside the United Kingdom.
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