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09 Oct 07. EU Intergovernmental Conference (IGC): European Scrutiny Committee Report. The European Scrutiny Committee published (9 Oct 07) a report examining the IGC process, in advance of anticipated agreement on an EU Reform Treaty in December 2007.
Comment: The Committee observes that the Treaty “produces a general framework which is substantially equivalent to the Constitutional Treaty”.
The Foreign Secretary is due to give evidence to the Committee on 16 Oct 07 in the Thatcher Room in Portcullis House at 14.30hrs. Those wishing to attend are advised to check the venue in advance, by
calling: 020-7219 5467. ‘European Union Intergovernmental Conference’ was published as HC 1014 for £14:50 and can also be accessed via the Parliamentary website (www.parliament.co.uk).

Written Answers

Monday 15 October 2007

Afghanistan: Operational Mentor and Liaison Teams

Lord Astor of Hever asked Her Majesty’s Government: How many Operational Mentor and Liaison Teams (OMLTs) the United Kingdom is currently providing to assist Afghan army units; how the OMLTs are structured; and what resources they have. [HL5342]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence & Department for Business, Enterprise
and Regulatory Reform (Lord Drayson): The UK currently provides five operational
mentoring and liaison teams (OMLTs) to 3 Brigade, 205 Corps Afghan National Army
(ANA), one for each kandak (battalion). To reflect the structure of 3 Brigade,
there are three infantry kandak OMLTs, one combat support kandak OMLT and one
combat service support kandak OMLT. The OMLTs are predominantly drawn from a UK
infantry battalion (currently the 1st Battalion the Grenadier Guards, soon to be
2nd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment). The combined strength of the OMLTs is
around 250 personnel. The OMLTs have the same equipment levels as other UK battle groups in theatre and can call upon close air support and other fire support in the same way as other UK battle groups.

Armed Forces: Russia

Lord Astor of Hever asked Her Majesty’s Government: What recent attempts have been made by submarines and other vessels of the Russian navy to enter United Kingdom waters; and what has been their response to such attempts. [HL5339]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence & Department for Business, Enterprise
and Regulatory Reform (Lord Drayson): The UN Convention of the Law of the Sea (1982) allows right of innocent passage to all warships through territorial waters provided it is not prejudicial to peace, good order or security of the coastal state. Submarines and other underwater vehicles are required to navigate on the surface and to show their flag. It is normal international practice to
seek diplomatic clearance before warships enter or transit territorial waters.
In September the Russian destroyer Severomorsk was invited to enter UK waters to participate in a memorial ceremony. HMS Lancaster hosted Severomorsk while in UK territorial waters.

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