HC Deb 27 April 1982 vol 22 cc712-3
13. Mr. Campbell-Savours

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the involvement of British forces personnel in peace-keeping operations in the Middle East.

Mr. Blaker

Thirty-seven British Service officers and men are currently deployed to the Sinai. Their main task is to act as the headquarters company of the multinational force and observers, which was set up to help maintain peace in the area following the Israeli withdrawal. We also provide some logistic support for the United Nations interim force in Lebanon from our bases in Cyprus.

Mr. Campbell-Savours

Will the Minister confirm that there have been hundreds of violations of the ceasefire on the border between Lebanon and Israel? If Britain has a contingent in the multinational force, will it not be possible for the Government to report direct to the House of Commons on the number and nature of any future violations?

Mr. Blaker

We do not have a contingent in the force in the Lebanon. We supply some logistic support for that contingent from our bases in Cyprus.

Mr. Archie Hamilton

Is my hon. Friend aware that many people feel that a more robust attitude should be taken by the United Nations forces in South Lebanon towards the enclave run by Major Haddad, which is causing embarrassment to everyone in the Lebanon.

Mr. Blaker

I take note of that point, but it is for my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary.

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