§ 36. Mr. Walters
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he is satisfied with the progress of the European-Arab dialogue; and if he will make a statement.
§ 38. Mr. David Watkins
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the United Kingdom's contribution in the dialogue between the EEC and the Arab League.
§ Mr. Judd
The second meeting of the General Committee of the Euro-Arab Dialogue took place in Tunis from 10th to 12th February. The atmosphere was positive and frank and both sides were satisfied with the outcome. The Government played their full part in the Nine's preparation for the meeting and, as holders of the Presidency, the United Kingdom led the Community delegation.
§ Mr. Walters
When we bear in mind the enormous potential advantages that could arise from Euro-Arab co-operation, has not progress been regrettably slow? Is it not time to remove one obstacle at least, namely, the question of Palestinian representation, and should not the EEC accept the reality of the situation as the United Nations has done?
§ Mr. Judd
The hon. Gentleman will be pleased to know that the British Government attach great importance to this dialogue. At the recent meeting valuable work was carried out on the transfer of technology, commercial and cultural co-operation, protection and encouragement of investment, and labour and agricultural projects. The remainder of the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question raises a wider issue.
§ Mr. Watkins
Will my hon. Friend assure the House in regard to the EEC statement—which was agreed at a meeting in London on 29th January but which was not made public—that the 365 Government exerted their influence to try to make that statement public—and if not, why not?
§ Mr. Peter Bottomley
Will the Minister assure the House that the EEC will take up the question of the boycott of trade on the same lines as the United States now appears to be following?
§ Mr. Greville Janner
I greatly appreciate what the Foreign Secretary has said, not only this afternoon but many times, and his unequivocal denunciation of the Arab boycott. Will he take up with his European colleagues the question of how such blackmail can be made unremunerative by international action?