Lord Dear debates involving the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office during the 2019 Parliament

Middle East: Security Update

Lord Dear Excerpts
Tuesday 7th January 2020

(4 years, 4 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Portrait Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
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Let me assure my noble friend, who we all know from his time as a Foreign Office Minister, that we are all engaging with key partners to provide reassurance. For example, in my conversations earlier today I spoke directly to the Afghani Foreign Minister. As I mentioned earlier, the Prime Minister has also spoken to President Erdoğan, because obviously Turkey is a real influence in the region. So the short answer is that, yes, we will continue to engage with those who are directly engaged in the conflict, as well as with our wider partners.

Lord Dear Portrait Lord Dear (CB)
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My Lords, it is of course understandable and quite correct that we should be very concerned about the current state of affairs in that part of the world. However, does the Minister agree, first, that in this fractured and potentially very dangerous situation, one of the few bright and positive lights shining in that area is our relationship with the state of Oman—a country I know well both socially and as an official representing this House? It is a long-standing relationship which goes back more than 200 years. Secondly, does he agree that we should wish His Majesty Sultan Qaboos a speedy return to good health?

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Portrait Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
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I agree with the noble Lord and I am sure that other noble Lords will join with me in wishing the Sultan a speedy recovery. Oman has played a key role in the wider region, as we have seen during the Yemen conflict, and we hope that it will continue to do so. It has also been a constructive partner in bringing together different sides after differences arose between Qatar and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia within the GCC.