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Volume 685: debated on Monday 9 October 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What are the numbers of (a) United Nations; (b) European Union; (c) Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe; and (d) NATO international staff in Iraq; whether United Kingdom officials have been involved in national reconciliation talks; what progress has been made in those talks; and what progress has been made on the constitutional review.[HL7399]

As of 31 August 2006 there were: 104 United Nations international staff; five European Union international staff; and no NATO international military or civilian staff or international staff from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe in Iraq. The NATO training mission to Iraq consists of approximately 200 personnel contributed by several NATO nations and one non-NATO nation.

Government officials have had no direct involvement in the national reconciliation talks. The Government of Iraq have established a National Reconciliation Committee and thematic sub-committees, and a dialogue process with stakeholders has begun. For example, Prime Minister Maliki addressed a meeting of over 600 tribal leaders in August 2006, at which a 21-point plan supporting the reconciliation process was agreed.

A commitment to have the Council of Representatives review the constitution was key to reaching agreement on the text of the constitution in October 2005. It is now for the council to form a constitution review committee to take the review forward.