§ Mr. Michael Brown
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how the United Kingdom intends to respond to the recent United Nations request for additional troops and equipment to enable UNPROFOR to implement the cessation of hostilities agreement in Bosnia.
§ Mr. Rifkind
The Government made a formal offer to the UN yesterday of an additional United Kingdom contribution to UNPROFOR. This consists of three Royal Air Force Chinook helicopters for military resupply and movement of UNPROFOR, and a further 12 British Army helicopters, comprising six Lynx and six Gazelles for air reconnaissance and transport. A further three Chinooks will be available on standby in the UK. We are also offering to provide up to 19 additional UN military observers to augment the 18 UK UNMOs already in theatre.
In reaching this decision, the Government judged it essential to respond positively to the UN request in order to support the recent cessation of hostilities agreement, which offers an opportunity for concluding a durable, negotiated peace settlement to which all the parties can agree and by which they will abide. As a member of the five-nation contact group leading the peace negotiations, and as a nation with one of the largest military contingents in Bosnia, this positive response demonstrates the Government's firm and continuing commitment to a lasting peaceful solution to the conflict.