Britain was a driving force behind the creation of the global coalition. We hosted the first coalition meeting in London in January 2015. I frequently discuss the campaign against Daesh with coalition and other international partners, including at a coalition small group meeting in Rome earlier this month.
I am very happy to pay tribute to the peshmerga. They have proved themselves to be an extraordinarily resilient fighting force and perhaps the most effective force operating against Daesh. The UK is training and providing equipment to the peshmerga. I had an opportunity a couple of weeks ago to meet President Barzani of the KRG, to talk about the liberation of Mosul and the role that the peshmerga might play. I am pleased to be able to report two things. First, the KRG appear to have become more open to the idea that the peshmerga will play a role in the liberation of Mosul. That will be very important. They have also agreed to Iraqi Government security forces being based in the KRG to prepare for the assault on Mosul. Those two things make it much more likely that we will see a successful assault on Mosul earlier rather than later.
Seeking a diplomatic solution in Syria has gone hand in hand with our humanitarian aid in the region. Will the Secretary of State set out how increased diplomatic co-operation will improve and assist our humanitarian aid in the region, specifically in neighbouring countries such as Jordan and Lebanon?
As the whole House will know, we hosted in London on
Daesh moves into areas of conflict and ungoverned spaces. King Abdullah of Jordan has asked that we reach out to areas such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania and Kosovo, as he regards them to be among the next potential trouble spots. Are we making any progress?
Yes. The hon. Lady is right. We should be very much focused not only on the countries that already face that challenge, but on the countries that are next in line for the challenge, and we should seek to reinforce them. I am happy to tell her, if she was not aware of this, that the Prime Ministers of all the western Balkan countries were in London yesterday, and I had the opportunity to meet the Prime Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia, Albania, and Montenegro. We are working closely with them to ensure the resilience and the European trajectory of that region.
On the issue of Daesh fighters returning home to countries here in Europe, what diplomatic co-ordination efforts have been made to develop a common response among countries in Europe to ensure that we keep our citizens safe and prevent those people from coming back to wreak havoc, through terrorism, on towns and cities in the UK?
Different countries in Europe have different domestic legislation around that issue. We in the UK have some of the most robust measures available to us to deal with returning fighters. It is precisely because of the importance of the exchange of information between European partners that the Prime Minister was able to confirm yesterday that we believe that Britain is safer and more resilient against the threat of terrorism because of its co-operation within the European Union.
Order. The hon. Gentleman must be heard. There is some chuntering from a sedentary position, by which he should not remotely be deflected. Stick to your course, man.
There is clearly a risk that as Daesh is militarily defeated in Iraq and then in Syria, the embryonic Daesh presence in Libya, particularly around Sirte, could become a new base for operations just 100 miles off the coast of Europe. That is why we are working with our partners and allies to encourage the formation of a Libyan Government of national accord that we can work with to start stabilising the country and pushing back on the Daesh footholds in Libya.
Further to the last question, can the Foreign Secretary say how far ahead we are in bringing about that co-ordination and establishing a stable authority in Libya to take on Daesh? We have seen recently an increase in Daesh activity, and there is still a lot of disconnect between the different bodies in Libya. Will he give us a bit more information about what progress is being made?
There is progress being made among European partners and with the US on preparing the kind of support we could give to a Government of national accord in Libya when and if one is formed. The problem is that several months after we first expected that to happen, the Government have still not been formed. We are working very closely with the parties in Libya and with the regional powers who have influence, particularly Egypt, to encourage Prime Minister Siraj to take the necessary steps to get that Government formed and approved so that we can engage. There is a strong commitment by the European partners to engage once that Government have been created.