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Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:30 pm on 18th March 2004.

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Photo of Peter Hain Peter Hain Chair, Modernisation of the House of Commons Committee, The Secretary of State for Wales, Leader of the House of Commons and Lord Privy Seal 12:30 pm, 18th March 2004

I acknowledge the close interest that my hon. Friend has taken in Kosovo, and I pay tribute to her for continuing to do so. The Defence Secretary will make a written ministerial statement on Monday about the situation, but I can tell the House that we agreed this morning to the deployment to Kosovo of the 1st battalion, the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment, which is the unit assigned to the role in question after NATO requested the deployment of the operational reserve force. Today, 120 troops have gone out, and up to 600 will be made available if necessary. The situation is very serious, with many deaths and injuries, and we want to help to stabilise it. Kosovo has suffered far too much from ethnic conflicts and genocide, and it needs to be stabilised and have peace established as soon as possible.