HC Deb 26 April 2004 vol 420 c775W
Sir Menzies Campbell

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to his answer of 31 March 2004,Official Report, column 1449W, on the gifting of military equipment to Nepal, what the agreed lines were relating to the planned supply of short take-off and landing aircraft to Nepal; and if he will make a statement. [168175]

Mr. Straw

1 refer the right hon. Gentlemen to the reply I gave on 31 March 2004,Official Report, column 1449W. I expect to make a full statement on the supply of two unarmed STOL aircraft once a final decision is made. A departmental minute is to be laid before the House in the near future.

The agreed lines used by the embassy in Kathmandu in responding to press queries in December 2003 were as follows: The UK Government is committed to supporting the Government of Nepal and working to end the suffering of the Nepalese people. One strand of this support is assistance to the Nepalese Security Forces, including the Royal Nepalese Army, in their efforts to combat Maoist aggression. Our non-lethal support aims to enhance RNA capability across a range of military activities. As part of this support the UK plans to provide two Short Take Off and Landing aircraft to the RNA in 2004. There is still some way to go on this process, which will go through the appropriate Parliamentary channels".