The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]


Below are some of the exchanges that took place during questions to
Foreign Office Ministers in the House of Commmons yesterday.  The entirety
of Question Time is at

Mrs. Cheryl Gillan (Chesham and Amersham): With Saddam clearly not back in
his cage, as the Secretary of State promised, the need for a new approach
to the Iraqi regime is now very urgent. The French and the Russians are
calling for a relaxation of sanctions, which is alarming the people in
northern Iraq, who fear that they may lose the oil revenues that they
receive for humanitarian purposes directly from the UN escrow account and
be forced, once again, to rely directly on Saddam and Baghdad. 

Will the Secretary of State assure us that on this occasion the new
approach will be properly thought through and that he will ensure not only
that Saddam's capacity to produce weapons is monitored, but that any new
approach will give full weight to making sure that food and medical
supplies reach the children and people of Iraq who are suffering at the
hands of Saddam Hussein? 

Mr. Cook: I can repeat to the hon. Lady and the House the assurances that
I have given several times--there are no sanctions against imports of food
and medicines by Saddam Hussein and, in a period when he persists in
saying that his people go hungry, his harvest in Iraq has increased by 15
per cent. We are certainly exploring how we can build a diplomatic
consensus to isolate Saddam Hussein and we are in dialogue with France and
Russia on those points. 

19 Jan 1999 : Column 700

I am unclear as to whether the hon. Lady was seeking the relaxation of
sanctions, but if Saddam Hussein wants sanctions to be relaxed, he should
comply with the Security Council resolutions and abandon his expensive
programme of developing weapons of mass destruction. 

Mr. Llew Smith (Blaenau Gwent): Will the Foreign Secretary explain why the
Government treat Iraq and Israel differently when they are both in breach
of UN resolutions? Does he accept that the weapons of mass destruction in
the hands of both those countries are outlawed by the United Nations? We
know the Government's position on Iraq; will he now explain their position
on Israel? 

Mr. Cook: I have already this afternoon explained our position in relation
to the Government of Israel and made it perfectly plain that we greatly
regret their unilateral actions which undermine the peace process. If my
hon. Friend is attempting to put both Governments in the same box, he
should reflect on the fact that Saddam Hussein is the leader of
a country in which he has himself used chemical and biological weapons. He
used them extensively against his neighbour in the Iran-Iraq war and used
them mercilessly against his own people in the Kurdish area where he
killed 5,000 villagers when he attacked Halabja. We cannot walk away and
leave a man with such a track record in possession of those weapons. 

Mr. Campbell-Savours: On the question of a new approach, are the
Government in principle opposed to a sanctions-free Basra enclave in
southern Iraq? 

Mr. Fatchett: My hon. Friend has advanced that idea for some time. We
continue to look at ideas that will enable us to achieve our objectives of
disarmament, containment and helping the people of Iraq. I am not yet
convinced that my hon. Friend's notion is the best way to proceed, but we
shall certainly continue to consider all ideas. 

Mr. Harry Barnes (North-East Derbyshire): I am pleased that the Government
do not favour the Basra enclave option. Would it not lead to the beginning
of the break-up of Iraq and problems over which area Basra would be
associated with--for instance, with Iran? Given that Basra is the only
port in Iraq, the people of Iraq, who are already in very bad
economic circumstances, would be cut off from their supplies. If the
enclave were established, it would look like American-British occupation. 

Mr. Fatchett: We have always said that we want to maintain the territorial
and political integrity of Iraq. My hon. Friend makes several important
points in that context. We shall certainly continue to ensure the
imposition of no-fly zones, which are very important to the security of
people in southern and northern Iraq. To remind the House of what my right
hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary said earlier, those no-fly zones are
there to protect the ordinary people of Iraq, and are crucial for that

This is a discussion list run by Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
To be removed/added, email, NOT the
whole list. Archived at

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]