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

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Photo of Lord Hannay of Chiswick Lord Hannay of Chiswick Crossbench 1:32 pm, 22nd July 2008

My Lords, does the Minister agree that the Statement indicates how far we are from cracking the problem of Iraq's neighbours? Critical comments about Syria and Iran are undoubtedly well deserved, and problems continue on the northern frontier with Turkey. Does this not demonstrate that we will never have a stable situation in that region until there is some multilateral framework in which Iraq and all its neighbours participate and in which they commit themselves to respect one another's borders and sovereignty, not to interfere and to work together for economic development? That idea crops up from time to time and then invariably disappears like a mirage. I have no doubt that some of the regional participants are responsible for the absence of progress, but is it not important to reinstate that idea, now that things are going a bit better, as an important medium-term objective that we should all pursue?