Middle East

European Community written question – answered at on 28 October 1981.

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Mrs. Knight asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will propose that the steps taken by the 10 member countries 389 of the European Community to promote peace in the Middle East should be extended to the Gulf area in order to assure countries in that area of Europe's support for any measures they may take to ensure their collective security.

Mr. Hurd: At the Council of Ministers meeting in Brussels last month Foreign Ministers of the Ten welcomed the increased co-operation among the six member States of the newly formed Gulf Co-operation Council, with all of whom the Ten have close and friendly relations. They also agreed to establish informal contacts with the Gulf Co-operation Council in order to consider the scope for possible co-operation between the Gulf Co-operation Council and the Ten.

We have also welcomed the valuable contribution that the formation of the Gulf Co-operation Council will make towards enhancing regional stability and security. We believe that it should be primarily for the Gulf States to determine their own security needs, and have expressed willingness in principle to help should the States of the region ask us to do so.