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Transjordan (British Troops)

Volume 463: debated on Wednesday 13 April 1949

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8.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs how long it is proposed that British troops should remain at Aqaba.

At the request of the Transjordan Government the British Force at Aqaba is being left there at its present strength for the present. It will remain there as long as the situation requires it.

Since the State of Israel has already established itself on the Gulf of Aqaba and proposes to build a proper modern port there, can my hon. Friend explain how we are helping the State of Transjordan or the interests of this country by keeping British troops in this muddy little village?

I think their presence there has been helpful and I do not think that the present situation calls for any change.

Will the hon. Gentleman make a contribution towards a general peace settlement in the Middle East by withdrawing the British troops in accordance with the terms of the recent Israeli-Transjordan armistice?

I cannot agree that their withdrawal would be such a contribution at the present time.