HC Deb 30 October 2000 vol 355 cc500-1
8. Mr. Dale Campbell-Savours (Workington)

What discussions he has had with his Armenian counterparts as to developments in Iraq. [132992]

The Secretary of State for Defence (Mr. Geoffrey Hoon)

I remain in regular contact with the United States Government on a range of issues, including Iraq. I exchanged views most recently with Mr. Cohen, the Secretary for Defence, in the margins of NATO informal ministerials, in Birmingham, on 10 October.

Mr. Nicholas Soames (Mid-Sussex)

The question is on Armenian counterparts.

Mr. Campbell-Savours

That was a printers' error, Mr. Speaker.

My right hon. Friend will know that the Iraqi sanctions are being flouted on a massive scale, particularly in the case of oil, and that that information is well known to the Americans. What action is being taken to enforce the sanctions?

Mr. Hoon

My hon. Friend knows that determined efforts are made by the international community to enforce sanctions. Those efforts are not as effective as we would like them to be. However, certainly, we continue to see real value in the enforcement of sanctions and we play our part in that process.

Mr. Michael Howard (Folkestone and Hythe)

Given the differences between British policy and French policy on Iraq, how will the Government's objectives be helped by the new European Union military arrangements, particularly if, as reported in yesterday's The Sunday Telegraph, the director general of the military staff is to be French?

Mr. Hoon

The military arrangements that are the headline goal are not anticipated to be used in the context of enforcing the no-fly zones in Iraq, which is what British forces with their American counterparts are engaged in. I am, therefore, not sure that the premise of the right hon. and learned Gentleman's question is at all relevant. Nevertheless, it gives him an opportunity to air once again the anti-European phobia that too many Opposition Members seem to be suffering from.

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