Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 4th May 1988.

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Photo of Mrs Lynda Chalker Mrs Lynda Chalker , Wallasey 12:00 am, 4th May 1988

We greatly regret the escalation in fighting. It is truly a tragic situation. As the hon. Gentleman rightly said, there are serious implications for the famine relief operations. We have urged the Ethiopian Government to reconsider their decision. Other donors have made similar representations, and, following the visit to Ethiopia last week of the United Nations Secretary General's envoy, Mr. Ahtisaari, we understand that some expatriate staff of the United Nations world trucking operation in Ethiopia are to be permitted to return to Eritrea to restart operations. We hope that the Ethiopian Government will soon permit a full resumption of relief activities, including those by Red Cross officials. We must remember that half the 7 million people who are at risk from famine are in Eritrea and Tigré.