Cardiff European Council

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:48 pm on 11th June 1998.

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Photo of Michael Howard Michael Howard Shadow Secretary of State 5:48 pm, 11th June 1998

I thought that one of the tasks of the Foreign Office and the Foreign Secretary was to anticipate what might happen in the world. It has not taken genius to anticipate that, for a very long time, the problem in Kosovo could have burst into the kind of violence that we have seen in recent weeks. NATO should have been asked some time ago to prepare options for action. It is astonishing that we were told only a week ago that NATO might have options ready for those who need to take these most serious decisions by the end of this month. Given that the seriousness of the position in Kosovo has been known, and raised in the House, for months, it is astonishing that NATO was not asked earlier to put the work on options in hand.