§ Mrs. Clwyd
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the answer of the Minister for Overseas Development on 2 April,Official Report, column 415, when and in which forum a decision is expected to be taken on cancelling outstanding repayments owed by ACP countries under the STABEX system; what is the estimated amount of such outstanding repayments; and whether Her Majesty's Government is in favour of their cancellation.
§ Mrs. Chalker
The ACP-EC Council of Ministers is responsible for resolving this issue. A decision was not reached at its recent meeting in Fiji, and the matter is now unlikely to be formally settled until next year's meeting. In the meantime, no repayment of the sums involved, some 90 million ecu—around £70 million—will be required. A final decision will be taken in the preparation for next year's meeting.