Geneva Conventions and United Nations Personnel (Protocols) Bill [ Lords]

Part of Registration of Births and Deaths (Welsh Language) – in the House of Commons at 1:11 pm on 1st April 2009.

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Photo of David Lidington David Lidington Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs) 1:11 pm, 1st April 2009

A new symbol, agreement on which has allowed the vexed question of the position of the Israeli and Palestinian humanitarian relief societies to be settled, and allowed them to become part of the global family of Red Cross and Red Crescent societies, is a compromise worth having.

Although my hon. Friend is tempting me into my other responsibilities as middle east spokesman, I will not go down that track too far, but I shall respond to the point that he made. If I can look forward to the future of the middle east with greater optimism than he was able to voice in his question, perhaps we could see a day when Israeli vehicles participated in UN multinational humanitarian operations. If the legal framework that we have provided for in the protocol and now in the Bill makes it possible for that to happen, that is a constructive step.

I have two other questions to the Minister about the use of the red crystal—

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