§ Mr. David Young
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action Her Majesty's Government are taking to gain the release of prisoners of war and other foreign detainees held in Iraq; if he will list the numbers by nationality of those prisoners and detainees; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Douglas Hogg
We have attended the two meetings in Geneva held this year between the 571W International Committee of the Red Cross, the tripartite commission—USA, United Kingdom and France—Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to discuss the detainees. We have also continued to raise the plight of Kuwaiti and other detainees at the United Nations whenever the Security Council reviews sanctions against Iraq. We last did so on 18 November. We will continue to do so until Iraq fulfils all its obligations under Security Council resolutions 686 and 687.
According to the Kuwaiti National Committee for Missing and POW Affairs, there are 627 detainees in Iraq, of whom 592 are Kuwaitis and 35 other nationalities—13 Saudis, five Iranians, four Egyptians, four Syrians, three Indians, three Lebanese, one Bahraini, one Omani and one Filipino.
One German and one Frenchman are also in detention for illegal entry. We hope they will be released soon.