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Volume 554: debated on Monday 26 November 2012

I thank the Minister for that reply. After the first Gulf war, Her Majesty’s Government recovered £2 billion from Kuwait and other countries to help to cover the cost of our operations there. Is he able to tell us that the Secretary of State will be unyielding in his demands of the oil-rich Libyan Government to help to cover the £200 million cost underwritten by the British taxpayer for the Libyan intervention?

I thank my hon. Friend for his question; I know that he takes a deep interest in these matters. It is important to emphasise that Libya’s security is our security, and this was a mandated operation. We will not seek to recover costs from Libya; that would not be the correct course of action. I look forward to Libya rejoining the international community of nations and to the UK and Libya proceeding on that basis.

What assessment has the Minister made of the security of UK staff in our diplomatic buildings in Libya following the attack on the US embassy?

That is primarily a matter for the Foreign Office, but I will try to reassure the hon. Lady. When I was in Tripoli recently, I visited UK staff, both uniformed and civilian. We have a small presence of staff embedded in the interim Government to assist them. Our staff are, of course, protected according to the risk assessment on the ground.