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United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:19 pm on 21st March 2011.

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Photo of Jeremy Corbyn Jeremy Corbyn Labour, Islington North 7:19 pm, 21st March 2011

My hon. Friend makes a valuable point. I do not know the politics, aims, ambitions or anything else of the people in Benghazi any more than I suspect he does. We should be cautious about going to war on behalf of a group of people whom we do not know or understand and of whose aims we are not aware. Many were Ministers in the Gaddafi Government, again, only three weeks ago. It is a very short time.

There is a danger that we do nothing about Bahrain because of close economic and military involvement, despite the US fifth fleet being there. There is a danger that we say nothing about Saudi Arabia because of the vast arms market there. The former Prime Minister, Tony Blair, felt that Saudi Arabia was so important that he stopped the Serious Fraud Office investigation into the al-Yamamah arms contract. In Yemen and Oman, people are dying. They thirst for exactly the same thing. I was at a conference this morning of Bahraini opposition groups who made strong points. They said that they were not campaigning about human rights in Bahrain yesterday, but last year, the year before, the year before that and so on. Indeed, I first met Bahraini opposition groups who were concerned about the overwhelming power of the king in 1986 at a UN human rights conference in Copenhagen.