HC Deb 08 March 1996 vol 273 cc391-2W
Mr. Llew Smith

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he has anything to add to the answer given to the hon. Member for Neath (Mr. Hain), on 9 December 1992,Official Report, column 663, on changes made in guidelines covering defence-related exports to Iraq since 1979. [18537]

Mr. Hanley


Mrs. Clwyd

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the Security Council resolutions which preclude the release of interest from frozen Iraqi assets in the United Kingdom to produce money to compensate claimants. [18512]

Mr. Hanley

[holding answer 4 March 1996]None of the United Nations Security Council resolutions concerning Iraq provide for the interest on funds in frozen Iraqi accounts in the United Kingdom to be made available by the Government to meet the claims of UK nationals against Iraq.

As required by the provisions of UNSCR 778, all funds in the UK representing the proceeds of the sale of Iraqi petroleum or petroleum products, paid for on or after 6 August 1990, have been transferred to the United Nations' escrow account provided for in UNSCRs 706 and 712. Under SCR 778, sequestrated funds are net of any amounts needed to meet third party rights over such funds existing at the time of its adoption. Funds in the UN escrow account are available to the UN Compensation Commission—UNCC—for meeting the costs of compensation arising out of the Gulf war. They are also available for meeting the costs of UN activities and humanitarian relief. The relevant UNSCRs do not make provision for the Government to have access to these funds or interest on them for the purpose of meeting claims by UK nationals against Iraq other than through the mechanism of the UNCC.