HC Deb 03 February 1964 vol 688 cc818-9
34. Mr. Wall

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will take farther action in the United Nations to seek to secure the withdrawal of United Arab Republic troops from the Yemen.

Mr. P. Thomas

The Secretary-General of the United Nations is engaged, through his personal representative, Signor Spinelli, in searching for a settlement in the Yemeni conflict. He is well aware that we consider that the foreign forces in the Yemen should be withdrawn, since their presence there makes it harder for the Yemenis to arrive at a political solution of their problems. I do not think that action by us in the United Nations would help towards this end.

Mr. Wall

Would my hon. Friend not agree that the Saudi Arabian Government are scrupulously carrying out their side of the agreement and the Egyptian Government are not so doing? Can he confirm the fact that there are 2,000 Russians at Sa'ana building a large airfield? Will he not reconsider the whole question of an approach to the United Nations to ask that foreign troops and personnel should be withdrawn?

Mr. Thomas

I agree with my hon. Friend that, according to the United Nations reports, the Saudi Arabian Government do appear to be carrying out their side of the agreement, but the supreme need here is to try to settle the conflict. We want to help rather than hinder, and a dispute in the United Nations would not, in our view, help. The best chance of progress lies in supporting the Secretary-General in his efforts.

Forward to