Conflict Resolution

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 26th June 2019.

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Photo of Lord Judd Lord Judd Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they are taking to review and strengthen the effectiveness of conflict resolution policies of the UK to address persistent and accelerating conflict, and flashpoints, particularly in (1) Afghanistan, (2) Egypt, (3) Iran, (4) Iraq, (5) Libya, and (7) Syria; and what steps they are taking with partners in the Commonwealth, the EU, and the UN to review equivalent policies.

Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Minister of State

The British Government’s actions to prevent conflict in Afghanistan and in the Middle East and North Africa include:

  • Afghanistan: Continuing our close engagement with the Afghan government and our international partners to help bring about an inclusive and sustainable Afghan-led peace process as quickly as possible. We strongly support current US efforts to drive forward peace. The UK welcomed the conclusions of the Foreign Affairs Council in April that set out a clear path for how the EU will support peace in Afghanistan. We also support the important contribution made by the UN Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA). Prospects for peace are probably better now than at any time since 2001. However, after decades of war and the lack of trust on all sides, achieving a credible and sustainable peace process is challenging.

  • Egypt: The UK plans to spend more than £50m from 2016 to 2020 to support Egypt’s continued stability, by providing economic opportunities for and protecting ordinary Egyptians, tackling radicalisation and safeguarding tourists and British nationals. The Home Office and Egyptian Ministry of Interior are committed to increasing cooperation across a wide range of areas, including counter-terrorism, illegal migration and organised crime.

  • Iran: We are working with regional and international partners to call for restraint in order to de-escalate the situation. Yet we remain determined to preserve the Iran nuclear deal, and are working with E3 partners to achieve this. This deal remains in our shared interests as long as Iran meets its commitments under the deal in full. It is a key achievement of the global nuclear non-proliferation architecture, which is in our shared security interests. We are deeply concerned at the heightened level of regional tension. Our priority remains de-escalation.

  • Iraq: Providing support, together with the Coalition and international partners, to the Iraqi security sector in countering the ongoing threat from Daesh, and addressing the root causes of this threat. This involves addressing the underlying political, social and economic drivers which led to Daesh’s rise. We continue to support, alongside UN partners, the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) whose mandate renewal was unanimously approved on 21 May 2019. The UK held the pen on UNSCR 2379 which was unanimously adopted by the UNSC in 2017 and established the UN Investigative Team for the Accountability of Daesh (UNITAD). UNITAD will seek to ensure documentation and accountability for Daesh crimes and work with the Government of Iraq to support reconciliation efforts.

  • Libya: We are engaging in intensive diplomacy, involving the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Ghassan Salamé, and partners in the UN and EU. The UK is clear that all parties must commit to a ceasefire, ensure humanitarian access, and return to UN-mediated political talks. The EU28 issued a statement on 12 April 2019 condemning the violence, and urging all parties to resume political dialogue.

  • Syria: Our diplomatic and programme efforts remain focused on bringing the conflict to an end through a UN-led negotiated political settlement. The UN-led Geneva process between the Syrian parties remains the forum to achieve this. We are also engaged in completing the enduring defeat of Daesh. As events unfold, we are keeping our approach under constant review.

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