Oral Answers to Questions — Defence
William Hague (Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Richmond (Yorks), Conservative)
In line with my earlier answer, I take my right hon. and learned Friend’s strong note of caution about supplying arms into such a conflict. It has not so far been our policy, in any of the nations affected by the Arab spring, in any of these conflicts, to supply arms to any of the parties involved. Even in Libya, where we were actively involved with the military intervention under a UN resolution, we did not supply arms to any of the participants, so to change that would be a major change in our approach. He is right about the long-term diplomatic cost and the cost in world opinion, not only to Russia but to China, and we certainly encourage other nations throughout the middle east and across the world to make that point very forcefully to their Russian and Chinese ambassadors.