HC Deb 07 December 1964 vol 703 cc1062-3
34. Mr. Jackson

asked the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs whether, in view of the prospects for improved Anglo-Arab relations, he will make an early official visit to the Arab world.

Mr. George Thomson

We have the possibility of a Ministerial visit to the area very much in mind, but no decision has yet been taken.

Mr. Jackson

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply, but will he bear in mind that there have been certain important developments there, such as the new Government of Saudi Arabia, the changes in the Yemen and our relations with Libya, which would make an immediate visit both necessary and important?

Mr. Thomson

We have all these matters very much in mind.

Mr. Fisher

Will the hon. Gentleman also bear in mind that the recent bomb outrages in Aden were almost certainly Egyptian-sponsored? Will he make representations to President Nasser that if he wants better relations with this country, this is not the best way to set about it?

Mr. Thomson

The whole House will deplore the use of violence in Aden in recent days. The authorities of the U.A.R. are already aware of our views on this matter and any other similar matters which might cause difficulties in our relations, and these will be much in our minds when considering the idea of a visit to Cairo.

Sir B. Janner

Will my hon. Friend take into consideration when arranging such visits the serious war declarations made time and again by Arab States against Israel, including the recent resolution in Alexandria, and point out to them that these are quite contrary to the United Nations Charter and cannot possibly be tolerated?

Mr. Thomson

One of the purposes in seeking better relations with the States of the Arab world is to contribute to a more stable situation in the Middle East as a whole. The Foreign Secretary had an opportunity to talk about these matters with the Deputy Prime Minister of Israel when the latter passed through London recently on his way to New York.