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Syria and Iran

Volume 709: debated on Wednesday 1 April 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to further relations with Syria and Iran following recent ministerial visits. [HL2595]

My honourable friend, Bill Rammell, the Minister of State for the Middle East, will visit Damascus on 1 and 2 April 2009. He will reiterate our support for inter-Arab reconciliation, encouraging Syria to recognise that its own stability and prosperity are dependent on playing a constructive role in the region, including support for engagement along all tracks in the search for a comprehensive Middle East peace.

There has not been a ministerial visit to Iran since 2003, although we continue to have contact at ministerial level. We have said consistently that we would like to have a constructive relationship with Iran, based on mutual respect, but Iran must take action to address the international community's legitimate concerns about its nuclear and regional activity and its internal repression.