§ Mr. Dalyell
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will meet Hans von Sponeck to discuss the effect of sanctions on Iraq. 241W
§ Mr. Hain
No. Our priority is to improve the humanitarian situation by getting the best out of the "oil for food" programme while we work to get Iraq to move towards the suspension and eventual lifting of sanctions. To that end we maintain a close dialogue at all levels with the UN officials presently responsible for running the "oil for food" programme. I myself discussed the humanitarian situation and the "oil for food" programme with the Head of the Office of the Iraq programme (Mr. von Sponeck's former superior), Mr. Benon Sevan, in New York on 25 April. I see no need for a dialogue with Mr. von Sponeck, who has made his views quite clear and who is no longer involved in the practical efforts to improve the humanitarian situation.