Results 141–160 of 3017 for speaker:Mark Simmonds

Written Answers — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs: Zimbabwe (10 Jun 2014)

Mark Simmonds: We have regular dialogue with South Africa on a range of issues, including regional interests, at both ministerial and official level. The issue of political transition and that of successors to President Mugabe is a matter for the Zimbabwean people in line with the constitution of Zimbabwe. The UK remains keen to see a Zimbabwean Government that delivers for its people and we will continue...

Written Answers — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs: Central African Republic (9 Jun 2014)

Mark Simmonds: The UK is working closely with international partners to ensure an effective and co-ordinated international response to the current humanitarian and security crisis in the Central African Republic (CAR). The UK will continue to work with the AU and UN to ensure the effectiveness of the AU mission as well as the effective deployment of a UN Peacekeeping Operation. The UK has also provided...

Written Ministerial Statements — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs: Support for British Nationals Overseas (5 Jun 2014)

Mark Simmonds: The Foreign Secretary launched the 2013-16 Consular Strategy in April last year, setting out a series of changes to drive innovation and excellence in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s consular services. One year on, the FCO has already delivered significant improvements to the services received by our consular customers across the world: We have given our front-line consular staff the...

Written Answers — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs: Cayman Islands (14 May 2014)

Mark Simmonds: The Cayman Islands Government and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office signed in November 2011 the Framework for Fiscal Responsibility. This sets out the agreed principles for credible and sustainable financial management, including limits for public borrowing. The Cayman Islands Government is responsible for decisions on taxation and public spending, including deciding on the allocation of...

Written Answers — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs: Cayman Islands (14 May 2014)

Mark Simmonds: I have received a copy of the report and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is analysing it in detail. However, it is the delegated responsibility of the Cayman Islands Government to manage its natural resources effectively and appropriately and for them to consider how best to respond to the report.

Written Answers — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs: Nigeria (14 May 2014)

Mark Simmonds: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) estimates that there are approximately 20,000 British nationals living or working in Nigeria. We offer advice to those resident in, or travelling to Nigeria, through FCO Travel Advice. This Travel Advice was updated in the week commencing 14 April, around the time of the abduction of the school girls, to ensure that it provided British nationals...

[Mr George Howarth in the Chair] — Backbench Business — Political and Human Rights (African Great Lakes) (13 May 2014)

Mark Simmonds: It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship this morning, Mr Howarth. I particularly congratulate the hon. Member for Islington North (Jeremy Corbyn) on securing this important debate and on the knowledgeable and detailed way in which he set out many of the challenges across the great lakes region. I know that he has a particular passion and interest in the important area of human...

[Mr George Howarth in the Chair] — Backbench Business — Political and Human Rights (African Great Lakes) (13 May 2014)

Mark Simmonds: I assure the hon. Gentleman that those conversations not only will take place, but have started already. When I was last in Goma, I met Martin Kobler and we discussed the security situation, the broader political situation and the role that Church groups and others can play in building security and stability. There are several points that I want to make quickly in the time I have left. The...

Written Answers — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs: Nigeria (13 May 2014)

Mark Simmonds: While abductions by Boko Haram are not new, the scale of this recent abduction of over 200 school girls from Chibok School on 14 April was unprecedented. As most of the reported abductions in the last few years have taken place in remote areas, where communication is difficult, we have been unable to verify the details of how many have taken place or how many children have been abducted.

Written Answers — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs: Nigeria (13 May 2014)

Mark Simmonds: Conflict in northern Nigeria has caused great suffering in communities of different faiths and ethnicities. Representatives of the Government maintain regular contact with religious and ethnic community leaders across Nigeria. We recognise there are tensions in many parts of the country, including in the north-east, middle belt and the Niger Delta. Recent attacks by Boko Haram have been...

Written Answers — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs: Official Visits (13 May 2014)

Mark Simmonds: None of the six requests for special mission status to which I referred in my answer to the House of 28 April 2014, Official Report, columns 594-5W, were refused. After consenting to the visits as special missions, two of the visits were subsequently cancelled by the country making the request. As I noted in my previous answer, in view of the confidentiality of diplomatic exchanges, we have...

Written Answers — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs: Swaziland (13 May 2014)

Mark Simmonds: We have not received any specific reports about the Zakhele Remand Centre. However, we remain concerned by the human rights situation in Swaziland, including restrictions to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly. We call on the Swazi Government to respect the human rights of all detainees and the independence of the judiciary. We will continue to work with international partners...

Written Answers — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs: Swaziland (13 May 2014)

Mark Simmonds: We will continue to raise human rights concerns, such as Mr Masuku’s arrest and current detention with the Swazi authorities at senior levels. The UK has no permanent diplomatic presence in Swaziland. However, our high commission in South Africa covers our relations with Swaziland and our officials visit Swaziland regularly.

Written Answers — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs: Swaziland (13 May 2014)

Mark Simmonds: We are concerned by the arrests of Mario Masuku and Maxwell Dlamini at a Workers' Event in Swaziland on 1 May. They have been charged under the Sedition and Subversive Activities and Suppression of Terrorism Acts and continue to be held in custody pending trial proceedings. We are also concerned by the situation of Thulani Maseko, a lawyer, and Bheki Makhubu, a journalist, who remain in...

Written Answers — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs: Africa (12 May 2014)

Mark Simmonds: No UK Minister was available to attend the World Economic Forum being held in Abuja on 7- 9 May. We did propose to send senior officials, but the organisers of the World Economic Forum declined this request.

Written Answers — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs: Australia (12 May 2014)

Mark Simmonds: The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), first discussed climate change with the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Sri Lanka last November, and more recently at their annual bilateral in March. In each conversation, it was agreed that securing a...

Written Answers — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs: Kenya (12 May 2014)

Mark Simmonds: Al-Shabaab issued public threats against Kenya following its military intervention in Somalia in 2011. A number of terrorist attacks in Kenya since then have been attributed to al-Shabaab, including the September 2013 attack on the Westgate shopping centre in which 67 people were killed. We are aware of the media reports that al-Shabaab was behind the recent attacks in Kenya.

Written Answers — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs: Nigeria (12 May 2014)

Mark Simmonds: In the days following the abduction of over 200 schoolgirls from Chibok in Borno State, Nigeria, we have offered our assistance to the highest levels of the Nigerian Government. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), spoke to the Nigerian Foreign Minister on 18 April immediately after the abductions and...

Written Answers — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs: Nigeria (12 May 2014)

Mark Simmonds: Since the abduction of over 200 schoolgirls from Chibok in Borno State, Nigeria, we have been in regular contact with the Nigerian Government to offer our assistance. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), spoke to the Nigerian Foreign Minister on 18 April immediately after the abductions and offered the...


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