Israel

Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 4th May 1994.

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Photo of Mr Tom Arnold Mr Tom Arnold , Hazel Grove 12:00 am, 4th May 1994

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on relations with Israel.

Photo of Hon. Douglas Hurd Hon. Douglas Hurd , Witney

We enjoy excellent bilateral relations with Israel.

Photo of Mr Tom Arnold Mr Tom Arnold , Hazel Grove

Will my right hon. Friend consider lifting the arms embargo, and can he confirm that the British Government are now willing to accept tenders from the Israeli armaments industry?

Photo of Hon. Douglas Hurd Hon. Douglas Hurd , Witney

We are certainly willing to do the second and, as my hon. Friend probably knows, there have been discussions on particular projects. As regards the first point, the arms embargo was imposed because of Israeli action in Lebanon and we would be prepared to review the arms embargo in the light of progress on the Lebanese track of the peace process.

Photo of Mr Greville Janner Mr Greville Janner , Leicester West

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, following my extraordinary and refreshing visits to Saudi Arabia and Oman last week, I was privileged yesterday to attend the multilateral discussions in Qatar about middle east disarmament? Will the right hon. Gentleman join me in congratulating Qatar on its courage in holding the discussions there, Israel and the other participants on taking part and the Saudis on at last taking a thoroughly active and, one hopes, soon constructive part in the proceedings? Will the Foreign Secretary ask the Syrians now to join as without them there is little hope of the proceedings achieving the results that we all want?

Photo of Hon. Douglas Hurd Hon. Douglas Hurd , Witney

The hon. and learned Gentleman is a notable pilgrim to places of interest at times of interest and, whether by coincidence or as a consequence, things do on the whole seem to be moving in the right direction. I do not know whether he has yet booked his passage to Damascus.