Iraq

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 1:32 pm on 22nd July 2008.

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Photo of Baroness Ashton of Upholland Baroness Ashton of Upholland President of the Council, Privy Council Office, Leader of the House of Lords and Lord President of the Council (Privy Council Office) 1:32 pm, 22nd July 2008

My Lords, I am grateful to the noble and gallant Lord. Within the Statement, I set out—I thought quite clearly—the issues that we believe we need to continue to deal with, including consideration of the troop level that we need to maintain. To recap quickly, those issues are training the 14th Division, preparing Basra airport for transfer to Iraqi control, pushing forward on economic development and providing the necessary support for provincial elections. My right honourable friend was very clear in another place and in my discussions with him that those are important aspects of securing the future of Iraq. Until we have secured them, we need to make sure that we have the appropriate levels of personnel. There is no short-term expediency in this. It is about honouring the obligations that we have to the Iraqi people.