Iraq — Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:50 pm on 18th December 2008.

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Photo of Lord Hannay of Chiswick Lord Hannay of Chiswick Crossbench 2:50 pm, 18th December 2008

My Lords, does the Minister recognise that the Statement made only the most fleeting reference to regional security? Now that the withdrawal of combat troops—by both the UK and the United States, and by others—is operating within a finite timetable, would she not agree that the Government should really put its efforts into the urgency of trying to get some kind of sub-regional organisation for security, confidence-building measures, economic co-operation and the like? This has been an extremely fragile region, and looks as if it might become even more so in future.

The Government cannot, of course, achieve that on their own, but an Iraq whose neighbours are expressing no more than verbal commitments to its territorial integrity, or to non-interference, will be very vulnerable. An Iraq in which those commitments are embedded in regional organisations, such as we have seen in other parts of the world, could be a great deal more stable. Could the Minister say something about the Government's intentions in that respect?