§ 3. Mr. Edwin Wainwright
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on relations with Iraq.
§ Mr. Hurd
We maintain normal relations with the Government of Iraq, reflecting the political, economic and cultural ties that we have with that country.
I visited Baghdad on 27 and 28 March, called on the President, the Foreign Minister and other senior Iraqi Ministers, and discussed in detail with them a number of international and bilateral matters.
§ Mr. Wainwright
Did the Minister get any idea about the future of the problems of Iraq and the middle east? Did he raise with the Iraqis the relationship between that country and Iran, and, of course, Israel? Did the right hon. Gentleman mention what happened in the attempted assassination in this country and ask the Iraqis to ensure that none of their people are armed when in this country? We deplore such assassinations no matter where they are carried out, but particularly when they occur in this country.
§ Mr. Hurd
I entirely agree with the hon. Gentleman's second point, and on several occasions we have made that clear, not only to the Government of Iraq, but to others whom we are anxious should know our views. We have certainly made it clear to the Government of Iraq. My right hon. Friend has dealt with the Arab-Israeli side of the hon. Gentleman's first point. There is great concern in the Gulf area about the continuance of the Iraq-Iran war, and that is reflected in Baghdad. We discussed ways in which the war could be brought to an end, but at the moment the prospects do not look very hopeful.