Results 181–200 of 2497 for speaker:Lord Robertson of Port Ellen

Oral Answers to Questions — Balkans (British Forces) (21 Jun 1999)

Mr George Robertson: It may last a long time and we will have to be there for however long it takes. That is the reality that we undertook when we got involved. On the other hand, there are signs, such as the agreement with the KLA last night and the speed with which the Serb forces left Kosovo, that suggest that we might be able to reach an accommodation between the different elements, as indeed we have been...

Oral Answers to Questions — Balkans (British Forces) (21 Jun 1999)

Mr George Robertson: No doubt, when the hon. Gentleman gets into the reading for his brief, he will read the strategic defence review and our analysis of foreign policy and will take note of the outcome and the recommendations, which are being implemented even as we speak. We set out to deal with the overstretch and the shortfall in manning that we inherited. That is why the Regular Army is to be increased in...

Oral Answers to Questions — Kosovo (21 Jun 1999)

Mr George Robertson: As at 18 June, some 18,000 KFOR troops had deployed to Kosovo. KFOR has been successful in maintaining a large measure of stability in very difficult circumstances.

Oral Answers to Questions — Kosovo (21 Jun 1999)

Mr George Robertson: My hon. Friend is right, and her words will be heard with great respect, including in theatre. The necessity to act even-handedly and impartially is absolutely critical if Kosovo is not to suffer another exodus, which might be smaller but would be equally sad. General Sir Mike Jackson made it absolutely clear on his first day in Kosovo that he would act with firmness and determination, but...

Oral Answers to Questions — Kosovo (21 Jun 1999)

Mr George Robertson: In many ways, I have answered that question already. I have underlined how important families are. I hold strongly in my mind the principle "recruit a soldier, retain a family", as does my hon. Friend the Minister for the Armed Forces. At the moment, the total number of British troops committed to Kosovo is 13,000, and I expect a significant reduction after about six months.

Oral Answers to Questions — Global Nuclear Disarmament (21 Jun 1999)

Mr George Robertson: In the strategic defence review and since, we have set out a wide range of measures contributing to our goal of the global elimination of nuclear weapons. We will continue to promote international peace and security and to reduce the need for any reliance on nuclear deterrence.

Oral Answers to Questions — Global Nuclear Disarmament (21 Jun 1999)

Mr George Robertson: My hon. Friend is right. We are deploying no more warheads on Trident than there were on Polaris when it entered service. He is also right about the need for in-depth dealings with the Russians. I hope that the G8 meeting at Cologne will be a starting point for that. Last week I met a delegation from the Duma, who I believe are here as your guests, Madam Speaker. That is an enlightened move,...

Defence in the World (10 Jun 1999)

Mr George Robertson: I always listen to the right hon. Gentleman with great care, because he has a lot of experience, and it is true that we share a close relationship with our allies across the water. We have not fallen out with the United States. The communiqué from the Washington summit made it clear that NATO and the Americans welcomed the initiative being taken forward. The whole purpose of the Prime...

Defence in the World (10 Jun 1999)

Mr George Robertson: There is a judicial review; the matter is in the courts today and it would be highly improper for any of us to discuss it in Parliament. However, the hon. Gentleman chose to raise the issue of the allegations that are being made about the disclosure of some of the soldiers' names. That is, first and foremost, a matter for the independent inquiry and its spokesmen have said that it is...

Defence in the World (10 Jun 1999)

Mr George Robertson: Given circumstances in the world today and the situation in Kosovo at this very moment, I find it remarkable that the hon. Gentleman should engage in a theological discussion that seems to play only to the Back Benches. Why, among all the documentation and bits of paper that he has produced has he not mentioned the Washington communiqué of the NATO summit? Perhaps he intends to read this...

Defence in the World (10 Jun 1999)

Mr George Robertson: No.

Defence in the World (10 Jun 1999)

Mr George Robertson: They agreed it.

Defence in the World (10 Jun 1999)

Mr George Robertson: I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for allowing me to intervene as I thought that the House would want to know that the Secretary-General of NATO, Javier Solana, has announced the suspension of air strikes.

Defence in the World (10 Jun 1999)

Mr George Robertson: The choice of title for this debate—defence in the world—could not be more appropriate. The defence and security of our country can be guaranteed only by looking beyond the immediate horizons of the United Kingdom. Our security is inextricably linked to the security of our continent and the wider world. As Kosovo has demonstrated only too well, it is only by standing firm with our friends...

Defence in the World (10 Jun 1999)

Mr George Robertson: No, because this agreement is about Kosovo and the campaign was about Kosovo. It has been agreed that the Serbian forces inside Kosovo will be withdrawn into other parts of Serbia, not into Montenegro. The hon. Gentleman's point about the importance of Montenegro is well taken. President Djukanovic, the elected President of Montenegro, is an individual of some character: he expressed several...

Defence in the World (10 Jun 1999)

Mr George Robertson: Yes, of course, we shall monitor the situation as it develops. As I have said, Montenegro is relevant to the future of the Balkans. We made it absolutely clear that, if Milosevic attempted to destabilise the Government of Montenegro, the NATO alliance and the wider international community would consider that of the utmost seriousness. Kosovo is a tragedy. British soldiers, sailors, aircrew...

Defence in the World (10 Jun 1999)

Mr George Robertson: Of course there will be problems for the implementation force and KFOR, one of which is the problem that my hon. Friend has identified. If any of the Serb paramilitaries decide to stay out of uniform or if other irregulars do not obey their central command, the difficulty of identifying them and dealing with them will be formidable. However, I know that General Jackson has already faced up to...

Defence in the World (10 Jun 1999)

Mr George Robertson: I remind the hon. Gentleman that we are increasing the size of the Army. By contrast with the previous drift downwards in numbers, the strategic defence review proposed an increase of 3,000 personnel. That is probably the first time that the Army has been increased by a peacetime defence review. The extra people will be used for the enhancements requested by the Army, which we believe are...

Defence in the World (10 Jun 1999)

Mr George Robertson: We are always looking to see where the reserve forces can help the regular forces. That is why, alongside the increase in the regular strength of the Army, we reshaped and restructured the Territorial Army so that in circumstances such as those that we now face, it will be more relevant and useful. I wish that those who speak out about the Territorial Army would recognise that the reforms...

Defence in the World (10 Jun 1999)

Mr George Robertson: I certainly do not feel complacent. Yes, I feel fatigue that is tinged with elements of relief and pride, but not complacent when so many of our troops are engaged in what, over the next few days, will be dangerous activity by any standards. When I say that we produced a strategic defence review and that I intend to have it implemented, I am talking not from complacency but from a driving...


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