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5. Mrs. Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on peace negotiations in northern Iraq. [13958]

Mr. Hanley: Our objective in northern Iraq is peace and the well being of the people there. With the United States of America and Turkey we established and have consolidated a ceasefire between the Kurdish Democratic

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party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. We continue to be involved in discussions to help them resolve their differences and we are making encouraging progress.

Mrs. Clwyd: Does the Minister agree that part of any peace process must include bringing those responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide to justice? Will he therefore add his support to the campaign "Indict" launched in the House of Commons with all-party support and the support of the Prime Minister, my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition and the leader of the Liberal Democrats to bring Saddam Hussein and his closest supporters in the current regime in Iraq before an international tribunal to answer for their crimes?

Mr. Hanley: I must pay tribute to the hon. Lady, because I believe that nobody in the House has studied the matter more assiduously or shown such great courage by visiting the area in northern Iraq where the Kurds are at the moment. I assure her that we share the objective of wanting those responsible for the appalling atrocities that she has described, especially Saddam Hussein, to be brought to justice. They deserve the widespread condemnation that they have received from the international community and the House. We are open to suggestions on how to bring those responsible to justice; it is not of course easy. We doubt that the process that led to the Yugoslavian tribunal can be duplicated for Iraq. The circumstances are different, not least because of the passage of time since the events in question.

Mr. John Marshall: Does my right hon. Friend agree that the fact that Saddam Hussein denies democracy to his people, and is the biggest threat to peace in the middle east, emphasises the need for the strongest possible sanctions against Iraq? Can my right hon. Friend guarantee that our European friends follow such a policy?

Mr. Hanley: My hon. Friend is right. The recent acceptance of United Nations Security Council resolution 986 will not mean the lifting of sanctions. It is a humanitarian gesture to allow the people of Iraq, with whom we have no argument, to be fed and to receive medical assistance. It is vital that the people of Iraq are fed, because they have been starved and deprived of medical assistance by Saddam Hussein for too long. There are no grounds for relaxing any of the sanctions, given Saddam Hussein's refusal to respect the relevant UN resolutions.

Economic and Monetary Union

6. Mr. Kevin Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many civil servants in his Department are currently working on issues relating to economic and monetary union. [13959]

Mr. David Davis: No Foreign and Commonwealth Office official is assigned exclusively to EMU issues, which are dealt with alongside other EU policy matters. EMU bears on the responsibility of a number of FCO departments.

Mr. Hughes: That is a pity, because such officials might have warned the Foreign Secretary and his Minister about the problems. The chairman of Unilever warned

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today that, if the Government did not sign up to the single currency, the company would reconsider its investment in this country. Given that Unilever employs some 21,000 people, should not the Foreign Secretary reconsider his comment on Radio 4 last week that we might stay out, even if the terms are right?

Mr. Davis: I do not know whether we need an official for that, but the hon. Gentleman needs a new research assistant. He has not noticed that this country has received maximum inward investment in the past decade, compared with the rest of the European Union. That investment has come here for a variety of reasons, and we are the number one destination for German overseas investment. That is true this year, as it was last year and the year before, and the investors know our policy on monetary union.

Mr. Wilkinson: Can officials and Ministers in the Foreign Office find time to read the admirable letter from Brian Reading in today's Financial Times, which suggests that there is little likelihood that the Federal Republic of Germany will ever, in the foreseeable future, achieve the proportion of national debt to gross national product that is required under the Maastricht treaty? Is it not clear from the recession and unemployment levels in Germany and elsewhere that economic and monetary union is not working?

Mr. Davis: I thank my hon. Friend for his recommendation. Similar analyses were the reason why my right hon. and learned Friend the Foreign Secretary said that it was unlikely--not impossible, but unlikely--that EMU could safely proceed in 1999. That is an issue that must be faced by all those who say that it can proceed. We do not have monetary union at the moment, but the other European countries have a different social model, which has led to the tragic circumstances--we cannot take any pleasure from them--of an increase of 500,000 in the German unemployment figures in a month and a total unemployment figure of 4.6 million. That is the result of a different approach to competitiveness, and I do not recommend that we follow it.

Mr. Robin Cook: Can the Minister confirm that two officials in the Foreign Office who are working on EMU are the special advisers to the Foreign Secretary? The Sunday Telegraph reported that those advisers had drawn up 12 different positions on the single currency, from which Tory Members could pick the policy of their choice.

Are there any other examples of ministerial advisers helping Back Benchers to express their opposition to departmental policy, rather than their support?

Did the Minister hear the chairman of the 1922 Committee state to the world that he had been assured by the Prime Minister that Tory Members of Parliament are free to pick the policy of their choice on the single currency for their election addresses? Does he not recognise that a party that has abandoned any attempt to require its members to support the Government is a party that has lost the right to continue in government?

Mr. Davis: I could make a couple of points if the right hon. Gentleman wants to talk about election addresses. I recommend that he addresses his question to the right

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hon. Member for Bethnal Green and Stepney (Mr. Shore), who pointed out that scores of Labour Members would take their own view on monetary union.

It is amazing, brazen cheek for Labour to take this line. The most famous election address in history is that of the Leader of the Labour party in 1983, in which he undertook to leave the European Union, to abandon the nuclear deterrent and to continue nationalisation--all issues that Labour would be embarrassed to take on today.

Ten days ago, the right hon. Member for Livingston (Mr. Cook) said on television:

That is Labour's view on monetary union, and, in the unfortunate event of there being a Labour Government, that is exactly what would happen. Every Labour Government have presided over increases in unemployment, expenditure and inflation and reductions in the value of sterling, so they could not stay out.


7. Mr. Butler: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on relations between the United Kingdom and Kenya. [13960]

Dr. Liam Fox: We have long-standing and deep-rooted links with Kenya, which is one of our most significant partners in Africa. The bilateral relationship spans wide-ranging areas of activity, many of which are outside the framework of Government contacts. We maintain a close dialogue with the Kenyan authorities on a wide range of issues.

Mr. Butler: Will my hon. Friend join me in welcoming the development of the East African Community involving Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda? What efforts is the Foreign Office making to ensure that that operation is a success?

Dr. Fox: Yes, it is a rare delight to give the House good news about east Africa. We are convinced that the revival of the EAC signals a fundamental shift towards a closer relationship between the three countries. That is an essential step towards creating mutual confidence, which I believe will improve the political situation no end in east Africa. Under our development division in east Africa, the Overseas Development Administration has agreed to assist the EAC secretariat to develop new management systems--to which it attaches a high priority--through the provision of technical assistance.

Land Mines

8. Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the changes in Government policy in respect of land mines in the past two years. [13961]

Mr. David Davis: Last April, I announced our support for a total global ban on anti-personnel land mines as soon as possible, severe restrictions on the use of anti-personnel land mines by our armed forces, the destruction of nearly

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half our existing stocks and the extension of our export moratorium to prohibit the export of all anti-personnel land mines to all countries.

Mr. Cohen: Would the Government like to be popular just before the election? Have they seen the opinion poll that showed that 90 per cent. of those questioned agreed with Princess Diana that there should be a worldwide ban on the construction and use of anti-personnel land mines? Instead of being a loose cannon on this issue, and following delaying and diversionary tactics in Geneva, why do the Government not give unequivocal support to the Ottawa process to get a ban on these hideous weapons?

Mr. Davis: It is unfortunate that the hon. Gentleman wrote his supplementary question before he had heard my reply, in which I said that the Government's policy is to pursue a global ban on anti-personnel land mines. I can give him an impartial view of the matter. When Princess Diana was in Angola and this subject was on all the front pages, the gentleman leading the delegation, Mr. Mike Whitlam--the head of the British Red Cross--told the "Today" programme:

I agree with him.

The hon. Gentleman made a serious point about the Ottawa process. We take the view, as do the United Nations Secretary-General and others, that the conference on disarmament is the best place in which to progress it. If we find that the process allows us to achieve more progress with the countries of concern--the producers and exporters of large quantities of land mines, or those who use them irresponsibly--we will support it.

Mr. Wigley: I welcome the progress that the Government have made, and urge the Minister to go the rest of the way and do away with all stocks of land mines held by the United Kingdom. Does he agree that it was totally inappropriate for anyone to describe Princess Diana's involvement as that of a loose cannon? We would be better off having more loose cannons firing humanitarian salvoes than more loose land mines blowing off children's legs.

Mr. Davis: I recognise the hon. Gentleman's long-term interest in the subject; indeed, when I announced our policy last year it was in response to a question from him. The noble Lord involved said that he did not recognise the words attributed to him in the press, and I have every reason to believe him.

Although, to take up what the hon. Member for Leyton (Mr. Cohen) said, there is no political advantage in it, I was pleased to see all the coverage, because we have to recognise the fact that 20,000 lives are shattered or destroyed every year. We are trying to alleviate that problem.

I will reflect the question about our land mine use back to the hon. Member for Caernarfon (Mr. Wigley). As he is aware, as the recipient of my answer, we will allow the use of anti-personnel land mines only by ministerial

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instruction, and only if it is absolutely necessary. We have to address the problem of how to change the policy of the countries that export, produce or misuse those land mines.

Last year, for example, we managed to get China to agree not to export undetectable land mines--the worst sort, because once in place they cannot be removed. That is the line that we are taking: the one that will give the best progress. To that end, the hon. Member for Caernarfon should know, as he is an honourable and honest man, that this country has been at the forefront of those that are acting to remove land mines from the countries most afflicted by them, and has spent £22 million on it to date.

Mr. Key: I warmly welcome my right hon. Friend's remarks, and I commend the Government on their policy, which is right both in seeking to establish international action and in supporting practical measures on the ground for the removal of mines. May I suggest, however, that £22 million over five years in humanitarian aid to the agencies removing those mines is not enough and that it would be very well received if my hon. Friend agreed to double that amount? If he would like suggestions as to where the aid programme could be adjusted, I would be delighted to make some.

Mr. Davis: The Chancellor might have a word with me if I gave a commitment straight away, but I make two points to my hon. Friend. First, our land mine aid has accelerated rapidly in recent years, so to look at it over five years is slightly misleading; and, secondly, it is demand led: the more projects come up, the more we can consider doing. I spoke only last week to Mike Whitlam, the director of the British Red Cross, about that exact point.

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