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Volume 407: debated on Wednesday 18 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what action he has taken to support the extradition of President Taylor of Liberia; [119365](2) what steps the Department is taking to help bring peace to Liberia; [119361](3) if he will make a statement on

(a) the UN indictment of Charles Taylor for war crimes and (b) his Department's work to reduce conflict in Liberia; [119362]

(4) if he will make a statement on the impact of UN sanctions against Liberia. [119364]

On 4 June 2003 the Special Court for Sierra Leone unsealed an indictment for President Charles Taylor of Liberia for bearing the greatest responsibility for war crimes, crimes against humanity and other serious violations of international humanitarian law in Sierra Leone since 1996. The UK has called on President Taylor to hand himself over to the Special Court. United Nations Security Council Resolution 1470 calls on all countries to cooperate with the Special Court.The UK has been instrumental in containing Taylor's Liberia through UN sanctions aimed at stopping the funding of arms purchases, a travel ban on those who breach the arms embargo and a ban on timber exports which takes effect on 7 July. We are working through the International Contact Group on Liberia, the UN and the EU to encourage all sides to participate actively in peace negotiations taking place in Akasombo, Ghana. Our aim is an immediate cease-fire and a comprehensive negotiated political settlement.