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Kurds

Volume 301: debated on Wednesday 26 November 1997

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what actions have been taken by his Department to promote dialogue between Kurdish movements in Iran, Iraq and Turkey; and if he will make a statement. [17838]

With the US, the UK has brokered a ceasefire between the two Iraqi-Kurdish parties, the PUK and KDP. This came into effect on 24 November. It is the first essential step towards peace in the region. We have taken no steps to promote dialogue between Kurdish movements in other countries.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the British presence in the Kurdish area of Northern Iraq. [17832]

The UK has no permanent official presence in the Kurdish area of northern Iraq. UK officials based in Ankara visit the area regularly. Several UK non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are also carrying out humanitarian work in northern Iraq.