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William Hague MP

Foreign Secretary

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Stories involving William Hague

Zimbabwe sanctions lifted

The EU is to lift sanctions on Zimbabwe after a "landmark decision" by European ministers.

Most of the Restrictive Measures - imposed by the EU in response to human rights abuses and political violence - have been suspended, but European foreign ministers said the sanctions against Robert Mugabe would remain.

Foreign Secretary William Hague said in a statement: "This approach will demonstrate to reformers across the political spectrum that the EU is serious about responding to concrete progress on the ground and reflects our confidence in the facilitation process being undertaken by President Zuma and the leaders of SADC.

"It also puts the onus on the Government of Zimbabwe to live up to their commitments."

He later tweeted that it was a "landmark EU decision."

Conservative MEP for the East of England, Geoffrey Van Orden, said: "We have always said that restrictive measures, aimed solely at a governing elite that has trampled on the people of Zimbabwe, could be eased once there was serious change."

The MEP, who has worked to encourage freedom and democratic change in Zimbabwe, warned: "I remain concerned that those with a vested interest in the Mugabe regime and exploitation of Zimbabwe's resources for their own benefit will try and ensure their continued grasp on power."


Hague urges green emphasis

William Hague has urged his fellow Cabinet members to place a greater emphasis on green industries, in a leaked letter which emerged today. The letter states "we should reframe our response to climate change as an imperative for growth" and sets out proposals for how the Government can refocus on the issue.


Hague calls for suspension of Burma sanctions

William Hague has said that sanctions against Burman should be suspended, but does not believe it would be right to lift them entirely.

 

Speaking at talks in Luxembourg, The Foreign Secretary said: "A very important process of change has taken place in Burma. As you know in the United Kingdom we have advocated the suspension of sanctions rather than the complete lifting of sanctions.

 

"I think that is the right thing to do. Great progress is being made in Burma but we remain very concerned about conflict and human rights abuses in some areas of Burma, particularly in Kachin state."


Pressure on Hague over Shell case

The Foreign Secretary is being accused of hypocrisy over Britain's intervention in an American Supreme Court case, in which families are claiming the right to sue oil giant Shell for its alleged complicity in torture in the Niger Delta. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office wants the Supreme Court to strike out the case, claiming the court should not hear cases where British corporations have allegedly committed crimes outside America. 


MI6 Staff 'breached confidentiality'

Andrew Tyrie, chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Extraordinary Rendiiton, has warned William Hague that MI6 staff may have breached confidentiality in supplying information to the press over the rendition of Abdel Hakim Belhadj to Libya in 2004.

 

In a letter to the Foreign Secretary Mr Tyrie wrote: “These reports are attributed to ‘well-placed sources’. The context suggests that these sources may well be from within MI6. If so this would represent staff from the intelligence agencies briefing the press."


Hague under pressure over Heywood details

MPs are calling on William Hague to reveal whether British businessman Neil Heywood was working as a spy before his death in China.

The Foreign Affairs Select Committee met earlier this week to discuss the case, and has asked for a series of clarifications about the Foreign Office's handling of the case.