HC Deb 02 March 1994 vol 238 cc930-1
6. Ms Hoey

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been made to bring about peace in Bosnia.

Mr. Douglas Hogg

The continuing ceasefire in Sarajevo and the recent ceasefire agreement between the Bosnian Government and Bosnian Croat forces are welcome steps towards an end to the fighting. We also welcome the agreement between the Bosnian and Croat Governments initialled in Washington today.

Ms Hoey

Does the Minister recognise that millions of people in this country do not understand why the concerted action that has been taken in the past couple of weeks could not have been taken with Britain taking the lead over the past two years? Nevertheless, if General Sir Michael Rose comes back and tells the British Government that more British troops are needed to make the peace progress continue, will the Minister give an assurance that he will bring that request to the House?

Mr. Hogg

I do not imagine that the electorate in this country will understand the hon. Lady's criticism. The British Government have committed 2,400 troops to Bosnia. With the exception of the French, that is the largest contribution.

Mr. John Townend

What is the total cost to the taxpayer of the British operation, and what proportion is refunded by the United Nations?

Mr. Hogg

The overall figure that I have in the back of my mind is £170 million. However, because I might be misleading my hon. Friend, I should prefer to write to him with the details.

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