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Volume 454: debated on Tuesday 5 December 2006

18. To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the likely consequences of a British withdrawal from Iraq on citizens who have helped build democratic institutions in that country. (107322)

The Iraqi Government will be responsible for protecting all of Iraq's citizens after the withdrawal of multi-national forces. We remain committed to our strategy of handing over responsibility for security to the Iraqis as and when their capability allows. The Iraqi Government have made it clear that it is necessary for us to stay until the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) are capable of taking the lead on security responsibility.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what measures have been taken to prevent the movement of weapons across the Iranian border into Iraq. (103513)

I have been asked to reply.

We have taken diplomatic and military steps to limit the movement of weapons across the border with Iran into Iraq. I will not divulge the details of any military steps for reasons of operational effectiveness and force protection.

We have made it clear to the Iranian Government that support to those groups who undermine the will of the Iraqi Government and who attack the Iraqi security forces is unacceptable. We continue to press Iran to break links with militias and armed groups and to support the Iraqi Government by strengthening border controls and co-operating on counter-terrorism.