UK Forces (Iraq)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:16 pm on 21st October 2004.

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Photo of Geoff Hoon Geoff Hoon Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence 1:16 pm, 21st October 2004

My hon. Friend is right to link the question of training, reconstruction and the prospect of democratic elections in Iraq to an exit strategy, because that is an exit strategy. The more training we can conduct of police, security forces and the new Iraqi army, the more opportunities there will be for those people to replace units of the British Army and, indeed, of other coalition forces. As I explained in my statement, that is precisely what has happened in al-Amarah, where British forces were constantly confronted by attacks throughout the summer. Now, they have been replaced by significant contingents of the new Iraqi army, and I am pleased to say that the situation there is much calmer.