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Iraq

Volume 407: debated on Wednesday 18 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps have been taken to ensure that the international community has been given the opportunity to participate in the rebuilding work agreed by Coalition forces; and what form this participation and partnership has taken. [1189751]

UN Security Council Resolution 1483 gives a clear framework for international participation in the rebuilding of Iraq. Many countries are already contributing to the rebuilding process through a presence in the Coalition Provisional Authority [CPA], co-ordinated in Baghdad by the International Co-ordination Council, chaired by Polish ex-Deputy Prime Minister, Marek Belka. The UN is to hold a conference on 23 June 2003 to instigate an updated UN Flash appeal, to be followed by a conference on 24 June 2003 for countries planning to contribute to reconstruction in Iraq. The European Commission's Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO) is now operating in Iraq and we are encouraging the European Commission and our EU partners to maximise their contributions to reconstruction.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps are being taken (a) to prevent indiscriminate attacks, revenge attacks, hostage taking and collective punishment being perpetrated by Iraqi civilians and (b) to ensure that the police and security services in Iraq do not perpetrate similar acts. [1189761]

The Coalition is committed to maintaining law and order. Coalition forces are currently conducting 2,000 patrols per day, of which 200 are joint patrols with the Iraqi police. UK police experts on law enforcement and the criminal justice system are advising on the stabilisation of the security situation and rebuilding the Iraqi police.The Royal Military Police investigates complaints made against the Iraqi police by Iraqi civilians. I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave her today [UIN 118979].

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps have been taken to restore and maintain public order and safety in Iraq since the ending of military action. [118978]

Restoring public order is a top priority for the Coalition. Reporting from Baghdad indicates that progress is being made, with a significant decline in armed criminality. 2,000 Coalition patrols are conducted each day, of which 200 are joint patrols with the Iraqi police.Over 2,000 Iraqi police have returned to work in the UK-divisional area in Southern Iraq and 9,000 in Baghdad. I am told that 18 Iraqi police stations in Baghdad are now operating 24 hours a day with 23 more scheduled to reopen by 30 June 2003. UK police experts on law enforcement and the criminal justice system are advising on the stabilisation of the security situation and rebuilding the police service. UK forces have been conducting joint patrols with the Iraqi police since 13 April 2003 in Basra.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps have been taken to ensure that Iraqis serving in the police and security services are subject to a vetting process to ensure no individuals suspected of or known to have perpetrated human rights violations are given positions of influence. [118979]

UK field security teams conducted background checks on re-registered police in the UK area. The Coalition has published an order which bars senior members of the Ba'ath Party from future positions of authority including in the police and security services. Those suspected of criminal conduct are investigated and detained if necessary.