Iraq

Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs – in the House of Commons at 2:16 pm on 7th June 1995.

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Photo of Andrew Miller Andrew Miller , Ellesmere Port and Neston 2:16 pm, 7th June 1995

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the United Kingdom's policy towards Iraq. [25437]

Photo of Douglas Hogg Douglas Hogg Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

Her Majesty's Government will continue to support the UN sanctions until Iraq complies with its obligations under all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions. Recognising the suffering of the Iraqi people, we played a major part in achieving the unanimous adoption of resolution 986, permitting Iraq to export substantial quantities of oil in return for aid. Iraq's precipitate rejection of the resolution is a striking example of the regime's disregard for its own people.

Photo of Andrew Miller Andrew Miller , Ellesmere Port and Neston

I am grateful for the Minister's thoughtful reply. He will be glad to know that I shall not ask about past arms sales to Iraq. Will he assure the House that, as part of the sanctions, the United Nations is rigorously enforcing the question of arms imports into Iraq? Is he certain that no country is supplying armaments to that awful regime?

Photo of Douglas Hogg Douglas Hogg Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

I am not aware of any military support for Iraq, and we would do our best to frustrate it should we become aware of it.

Photo of Mr Cyril Townsend Mr Cyril Townsend , Bexleyheath

My right hon. and learned Friend will be aware that one of the reasons which he gave the House for continuing sanctions was the installation of elaborate monitoring equipment and the need to ensure that it works properly. Does it?

Photo of Douglas Hogg Douglas Hogg Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

We are still at an early stage in installing the systems. The real problem is that Mr. Ekeus has not yet declared himself satisfied that Iraq has complied with the requirements of the Security Council resolutions that deal with weapons of mass destruction. That is particularly, although not exclusively, true of biological warfare capacity.