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Written Question
Fawzia Koofi
Friday 24th September 2021

Asked by: Baroness D'Souza (Crossbench - Life peer)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they received regarding facilitating the safe passage to the UK of Fawzia Koofi, a former Deputy Speaker in the Parliament of Afghanistan; whether they responded to any such communications; if not, why not; and what assessment they have made of the possibility of offering Fawzia Koofi safe passage.

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon - Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

This question is about an individual's situation. I have written to the Noble Lady.


Written Question
Central Asia: Counter-terrorism
Friday 24th September 2021

Asked by: Baroness D'Souza (Crossbench - Life peer)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have (1) to develop, and (2) to build support for, a regional counter-terrorism programme in Central Asia; from where they will seek to build support for any such programme; and what assessment they have made of their ability to build any such support in the absence of cooperation with the Taliban to counter international terrorist threats from (a) Al-Qaida, (b) ISIS, and (c) related splinter groups.

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon - Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

We must prevent Afghanistan from again becoming a haven for terrorism, including from Al-Qaida and ISIS, and an exporter of instability.

We will continue to convene partners both bilaterally and through the G7, the UN Security Council, and NATO and we expect that NATO will continue to have a role in fighting terrorism. We will work with our partners to use all levers at our disposal to disrupt terrorist groups' access to resources. This will include leading an international approach to prevent and deter Foreign Terrorist Fighters travelling to Afghanistan and effective implementation of counter-terrorism focused sanctions against terrorists in Afghanistan.

We will engage regional governments, in particular India and Pakistan, to work to prevent Afghanistan becoming a haven for terrorism. I visited Uzbekistan on 14 September, after visiting Uzbekistan and Tajikistan the week of 30 August for discussions on Afghanistan. The former Foreign Secretary also visited Islamabad to address the issue of terrorism and discussed it with the Pakistani and Indian foreign ministers. We will build regional resilience to prevent any spread of instability/extremist and to counter radicalising narratives.


Written Question
Syria: Armed Conflict
Tuesday 10th March 2020

Asked by: Baroness D'Souza (Crossbench - Life peer)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to appoint a specific individual or group to lead on international action to prevent any geopolitical and humanitarian crisis in Idlib.

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon - Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

We are gravely concerned by the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Idlib where nearly one million people have been displaced as a result of regime and Russian military action since 1 December 2019. During his visit to Turkey on 3-4 March, the Foreign Secretary discussed the situation and the need for an immediate and lasting ceasefire. The UK is a member of the Syria Small Group, together with the US and key European and Arab states, and the UK Special Envoy for Syria, Martin Longden, has been in close contact with his counterparts on the crisis in Idlib. We currently have no plans to create a further position or grouping to address the situation in Idlib.


Written Question
Gökçe Tüylüoglu
Monday 9th March 2020

Asked by: Baroness D'Souza (Crossbench - Life peer)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Turkey about the case of Ms Gocke Tuyluoglu, the former director of the Open Society Foundation in Turkey; and what support, if any, they have offered her since her first arrest.

Answered by Baroness Sugg

We remain concerned by the arrests and trial of 16 civil society figures in June 2019 over the 2013 Gezi Park protests, including Ms Gokce Tuyluoglu, and have been following the cases closely, including the latest hearing on 19 February, which a British Embassy official attended. We have raised their cases at ministerial level with the Turkish Government on several occasions, most recently in January this year. We hope that the outstanding charges against them can be brought to a timely and equitable conclusion.

We have long encouraged Turkey to work towards the full protection of fundamental rights, particularly in the area of freedom of expression. On 28 January at the 35th Universal Periodic Review on Human Rights, one of the recommendations that the United Kingdom put forward for Turkey was protecting freedom of expression, including for journalists and human rights defenders, by decriminalising defamation. We will continue to engage the Turkish Government on these issues and be clear in our expectation that Turkey live up to its human rights obligations, which is essential to the long-term health of Turkish democracy.