HC Deb 08 February 1991 vol 185 cc281-2W
Mr. Dalyell

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer of 1 February,Official Report, column 695, in relation to his letter of 28 January to the hon. Member for Linlithgow, what evidence there is that Iraq is falsely claiming damage to Samarra, Kerbek and Najaf by bombing; and what evidence he has that actual damage has been avoided.

Mr. Douglas Hogg

My right hon. Friend did not claim that Iraq was causing damage by bombing to Samarra, Kerbela and Najaf in his letter of 28 January. He merely said he wouldbe surprised if the Iraqis did not try to cause mischief by suggesting that they (the sites) have been bombed.

Mr. Spearing

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the response of Her Majesty's Government to the proposals of the Nordic members of the United Nations organisation to dispatch a peace-keeping force to Kuwait to follow any Iraqi withdrawal.

Mr. Douglas Hogg

We welcome the indication from the Nordic countries that they would be willing to participate in a United Nations initiative in the area following the withdrawal of Iraq from Kuwait. It is for the countries of the region to take the lead in devising arrangements for their future security. These may involve the United Nations.

Mrs. Fyfe

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will support calls for a debate in the United Nations Security Council on the Gulf crisis.

Mr. Wray

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many times the United Nations Security Council has met to(a) review the conduct of the war in the Persian Gulf and (b) discuss peace proposals from Arab, Muslim and non-Security Council members.

Mr. Douglas Hogg

The Security Council has discussed the situation in the Gulf on numerous occasions since the crisis began on 2 August 1990. It has adopted 12 resolutions with overwhelming majorities designed to bring about Iraq's full and unconditional withdrawal from Kuwait. Until there is firm and unequivocal evidence of Iraqi compliance we see no need for the Security Council to take further steps. Meanwhile it remains seized of the matter.

Mr. Marlow

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what undertakings have been given to the Israeli Government arising from their non-retaliation to Scud missile attacks.

Mr. Douglas Hogg

None, but we have made clear our support for the courage and wisdom of the Israeli Government's policy of restraint.

Mrs. Clwyd

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what additional funding Her Majesty's Government are giving, or are planning to give, to(a) the Red Cross, (b) the United Nations High Commission for Refugees and (c) other organisations working with refugees to cope with refugees from the Gulf war; approximately how many refugees are expected from Iraq and Kuwait in the coming weeks; what other measures Her Majesty's Government are taking to deal with refugees; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Douglas Hogg

[holding answer 28 January 1991]: In response to the United Nations relief agencies' first appeal, in September, for donations to assist the 850,000 people displaced by Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, Her Majesty's Government contributed some £11 million bilaterally and through the European Community. We gave a further $1 million bilaterally and $2 million through the European Community in response to the second appeal of 11 January.

We will also be contributing £2.5 million to a separate appeal from the International Committee of the Red Cross for its humanitarian work in the Gulf. Pending approval of a supplementary estimate, urgent expenditure will be met by repayable advances of £2.5 million from the contingencies fund.

We have kept in close touch with the Red Cross and the United Nations relief agencies as they have developed their contingency plans. These contingency plans provide for the welfare of 400,000 refugees fleeing of Jordan, Iran, Syria and Turkey and the rapid repatriation of developing country nationals.

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