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Volume 301: debated on Wednesday 24 September 1997

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To ask the Prime Minister pursuant to his oral answer of 19 November, Official Report, column 323 in what circumstances the United Kingdom would consult (a) France, (b) Russia, (c) China and (d) Arab states prior to endorsing military action by (i) the United Kingdom and (ii) the USA against Iraq. [17439]

Since the crisis with Iraq began, we have maintained close contact with the US, France, Russia, and China as permanent members of the Security Council, and a number of Arab states in our efforts to seek a diplomatic solution.It is not sensible to speculate on the circumstances in which military action would be appropriate.We are pleased that the solidarity of the Security Council has forced the Iraqi regime to resume full co-operation with UNSCOM United Nations Special Commission) without the need to resort to military action.