Select Committee on Foreign Affairs Seventh Report


1.  This Report is the fifth in a series on foreign policy aspects of the war against terrorism produced by the Foreign Affairs Committee since the events of 11 September 2001. As a glance at the list of contents will confirm, it covers a broad range of issues, from the political and security situation in Iraq to Russia's stockpiles of chemical weapons. This range reflects the Committee's view that the diverse threats to security posed by terrorism and failed states are—or could become—inter-connected, and that they need to be considered and countered as part of a coherent strategy.

2.  In preparing this Report, we heard oral evidence and received written evidence from a range of witnesses. We also held discussions with senior figures in New York (at the United Nations), Washington DC, Moscow, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Our visit to Pakistan included a day in the North West Frontier Province, and in Afghanistan we visited Mazar-e Sharif as well as Kabul. Some Members of the Committee were also able to continue our series of visits to Iraq. These visits have been immensely useful both in expanding the range of those with whom we can discuss war on terrorism issues, and in allowing us to see the situation on the ground in some of the key locations. We are grateful to all those who have helped us with this inquiry, whether by sending us written evidence, appearing before us, assisting us with our visits, or meeting us informally.

3.  There is, unfortunately, no prospect that the war against terrorism will become less of a foreign policy priority over the coming months than it is at the time of preparing this Report. Our inquiry into foreign policy aspects of the war against terrorism will therefore continue, and it is our intention to make a further Report to the House in due course.

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Prepared 29 July 2004