Iraq (No-fly Zones)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:48 pm on 26th February 2001.

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Photo of Crispin Blunt Crispin Blunt Conservative, Reigate 5:48 pm, 26th February 2001

No one envies the Secretary of State his difficulties in framing a policy—difficulties that were evidenced by his problems in replying to the question of my hon. Friend the Member for New Forest, East (Dr. Lewis). However, does the right hon. Gentleman accept that the longer the Anglo-American strategy of no-fly zones continues, based on legal authority to prevent a grave humanitarian crisis, the flakier it becomes while it is difficult to establish a direct link between the no-fly zones and the stability of the Kurdish autonomous zone and the condition of the Shi" a people in the south? The thesis of the hon. Member for Cynon Valley (Ann Clwyd) almost needs to be tested for Anglo-American strategy to continue through military action on the ground. Does the Secretary of State accept that this cannot continue for ever as an Anglo-American military strategy unsupported by anyone else and with no other strategy in view?