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Lebanon

Volume 32: debated on Wednesday 24 November 1982

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24.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will press for a substantial increase in the strength of the United Nations peacekeeping force in South Lebanon and for its mandate to be revised to include protection of those Palestinians now held in camps by Israeli-occupying forces without benefit of prisoner of war status.

The Government supported the recent renewal of UNIFIL's mandate, which now runs until 19 January 1983. UNIFIL may have a role to play in future peacekeeping arrangements, following the withdrawal of foreign forces. But an immediate increase in the force is not required.The Government have also acted in support of the. International Red Cross in urging the Israeli Government to apply the principles of the relevant Geneva conventions to Palestinian prisoners. The International Red Cross has been allowed regular access to Palestinian prisoners held by Israel. A large number of prisoners has recently been released.

35.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps are currently being taken by Her Majesty's Government to assist Lebanon to become an independent, sovereign and viable State.

We fully support American efforts to bring about a speedy withdrawal of foreign forces from Lebanon, which is the key to the restoration of Lebanese sovereignty and independence. We have provided substantial humanitarian aid to Lebanon, and are considering with the Lebanese Government what more we can do to help.

37.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the possible United Kingdom contribution to a peacekeeping force in the Lebanon.

Her Majesty's Government have received a formal request from the Lebanese Government for a British contribution to the multinational force. The request is being considered carefully. No decision has yet been taken.