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Sudan

Volume 408: debated on Thursday 3 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on (a) the interception of the ship in Greek waters which was carrying explosives and (b) the response of the Government of Sudan. [122476]

[holding answer 30 June 2003]: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Lancaster and Wyre (Mr. Dawson) today (UIN 122706).

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the reports of the discovery, by Greek authorities, of large amounts of explosives on a ship heading for Sudan. [122706]

[holding answer 30 June 2003]: The Greek authorities intercepted a ship carrying explosives destined for Sudan on 22 June. The explosives were being imported by the Sudanese Integrated Chemicals and Development Company, a cement business with a legitimate use for explosives. On 24 June, the Tunisian Interior Minister stated that the Tunisian exporter was genuine and respectable and had produced industrial explosives for Tunisia and for export for over half a century. The ship is still being held in Greece. An investigation into the incident is being led by the Greek coastguard. Two Prosecutors have been appointed to the case.