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-- __________________________________________________________ Sign-up for your own FREE Personalized E-mail at Mail.com http://www.mail.com/?sr=signup From: "Enfield United Nations Association" <UNinfo@digifutures.org> To: <email@example.com> Subject: The Borough MPs and the Debate on Iraq Date: Wed, 19 Mar 2003 20:02:14 -0000 Importance: Normal X-Plaintext: Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email [ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ] MessageOur Borough MPs and the Debate in the House of Commons. As you probably know by now the debate in the House of Commons over war with Iraq took place last night. Our three Borough MPs voted with the Government and did not join the rebels who argued that a case had not been made. This is not too surprising given that Stephen Twigg is a Junior Minister and Joan Ryan a Government Whip. However Andy Love also voted with the government but did so after much heart searching and at the last moment. He sent the following letter to me for the Enfield United Nations Association and I have replied. Here is both his letter and my reply. Francis Sealey ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---- >From Andy Love MP I am writing in response to your enquiry regarding my attitude towards the disarmament of Iraq and the momentous decision taken by Parliament following yesterday's debate. I understand the depth of your feeling on this issue which reflects concerns amongst my constituents and across the country. No one wants war. But for the past twelve years Iraq has been engaged in a systematic process of defying international decisions reached by the United Nations. I set great store on achieving a second resolution at the UN and at recent weeks it is generally accepted that the Prime Minister has worked long and hard to achieve agreement on that resolution. I believe that he could not have been expected to do anymore. I understand that the Government were very close to securing such a resolution - a resolution which would have set out clear tests to reinforce the obligations of resolution 1441. A majority existed on the Security Council until France chose to state that it would veto any second resolution, 'whatever the circumstances'. This promise to use the veto stalled the process and made agreement between the Members of the Security Council almost impossible to reach. It also diminished the pressure on Saddam Hussein at a critical time. Effectively France disarmed the United Nations instead of disarming Iraq. The Attorney General has made it clear that military action would be legal under international law. Authority to use force exists from the combined effects of various US resolutions which have been passed for the express purpose of restoring international peace and security. There will be a new UN resolution creating a UN mandate for the reconstruction of Iraq. Without it, there would be no legal right to rebuild any Iraqi institutions. The UN will now have the authority to support the people of Iraq with the provision of humanitarian aid, the reconstruction effort, the organisation of the oil for food programme and also to lift sanctions which should rapidly improve the condition of the people of Iraq. Last Friday an agreement was reached on a Middle East roadmap leading to Palestinian statehood by 2005. The failure to implement the Oslo peace accords and establish a Palestinian state alongside it with Israel safe and secure in internationally recognised borders is the underlying cause of deep anger and bitterness in the Middle East and the sense of double standards around the world. This in my view is a hugely significant step. This has been achieved by UK pressure and we must use all of our influence to secure the implementation of this vision for the future of the Middle East. I believe the decision to join a coalition of Governments' resolved to ensure the disarmament of Iraq's' weapons of mass destruction by all necessary means is in the interests of peace and security and the interest of the international order. It is also in the interests and security of the British people and I hope that having reflected on the situation and the contents of this letter that you will agree. If there is anything further that I can do to assist then please don't hesitate to contact me. I look forward to joining you at a future UNA meeting in Enfield. Please contact Victoria Silver in my office for a convenient date. With best wishes Yours sincerely, Andy Love MP ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---- >From Francis Sealey Thank you for the quick reply you sent to us following the vote in the House of Commons when you went into the lobby in support of the Government. I know you had to make a very difficult decision and that you were undecided until the very last moment. We regret that your decision was to vote the way you did. In your letter you lay great emphasis on the threatened French veto and I know that the Government used this argument to augment their case for war. You and the Government argue that their proposed veto stalled the process in getting an agreement over a second resolution and thus imply that their action made war more rather than less likely. I must point out to you as Robin Cook did in his resignation speech that the French were not alone in saying that they would oppose the type of resolution being discussed by the British and American ambassadors. They were joined by the Russians and the Germans and were also supported by the Chinese as well. The non permanent members for the most part argued for more time and like the French did not want any second resolution that had an automatic trigger for war attached to it. Indeed the French President phoned our Prime Minister to make it clear that it was the automatic trigger to war that he objected to rather than any resolution in principle. However the USA timetable for war made it impossible for that country to accept anything that did not have an automatic trigger and we were dragged along by the American impetus. As Robin Cook stated, Washington and not London was driving this process, and the American intransigence had more to do with the breakdown than anything the French said or did. I would urge you and your Government not to take this argument you have about the French position. It is not only untrue but it is also a classic example of a Government manufacturing a scapegoat when faced with great difficulty. What is more it is exceptionally dangerous. It is creating intense bitterness and destroying the relations between our continental partners and us. Good relations are so essential for the peace of Europe in general. Every effort must be made to heal this rift and I would be pleased to hear your ideas on how this can be done. As to the question of reconstruction and the road map to the Middle East peace process then we will be only too pleased to discuss this further with you in detail in the coming months. I gather from Stephen Twigg’s office that all three of you have agreed to meet the “network of concern,” formed in our Borough, in the House of Commons very shortly. We also have a meeting with Joan Ryan on April 10th and of course I will contact Victoria in your office to arrange another meeting with you. We can carry the discussion on then. Thanks you again for your letter. As I said we do regret the way you voted yesterday. We also hope that the British Government can restore good relations with our European neighbours and do so as a matter of urgency. We look forward to meeting you and discussing these matters soon. Best Wishes, Francis Sealey (Chairman Enfield United Nations Association.) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---- _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk