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The Prime Minister: On that last point, I have said all that I need to say, except that it is a bit much that when a series of allegations are made, all of which are untrue, people say what a terrible thing it is that trust in the Government has been damaged. It is important that if people have evidence to justify allegations, they give that evidence, and so far they have not done so.
In relation to the right hon. Gentleman's comments on the G8, the Jordan meeting is extremely important. I agree that the road map must be amplified to include the Lebanese and Syrian tracks, and it will be. That must be another dimension of moving the middle east peace process forward. It is important to recognise that America always said, and President Bush made it clear, that once the issue of Iraq was dealt with, he would move on to the middle east peace process. There is no doubt that it is much easier to make progress on that now, with the regime in Iraq changed.
In relation to Iraq and resolution 1483, because the UN is now involved in the process again, we are better able to access support for the hospitals and the infrastructure, medicines, supplies and so on. My assessment, although obviously my visit was only brief, is that real efforts are being made by our troops and by the authorities on the ground to improve the situation as rapidly as possible, but it is a massive undertaking. One of the things that I was told by our military out in Iraq is that, for example, when the Iraqi special republican guard were retreating, they sabotaged much of the machinery, which must be replaced. As we know, looting and problems of security were experienced at some of the hospitals, but I am informed that the situation is improving. It is not improving as fast as we would like, but it is improving. However, we must be clear that the job of reconstruction is massive. That is why it is important that we redouble our efforts, and ensure that we show the same vigour in prosecuting the peace in Iraq as we did in prosecuting the war.
As for the weapons of mass destruction, I point out again that the Iraq survey group is the body that will be able to go and interview the scientists and experts and visit the sites. There are literally thousands of sites. As I was told in Iraq, information is coming in the entire time, but it is only now that the Iraq survey group has been put together that a dedicated team of people, which includes former UN inspectors, scientists and experts, will be able to go in and do the job properly. As I have said throughout, I have no doubt that they will find the clearest possible evidence of Saddam's weapons of mass destruction.
On Africa, the right hon. Gentleman made some important points. We recognise the urgency of the crisis in Ethiopia. We have raised with the European Commission the importance of Europe stepping up its efforts to get its own money through. We have already allocated £48 million of emergency aid, and we will see what more we can do.
On HIV/AIDS, I believe that the European Union will match whatever commitment to the Global Health Fund the United States has given. It is important to realise that the $15 billion commitment of the US is not just to the Global Health Fund but to bilateral projects between the US and recipient countries. The situation is the same with us. We put hundreds of millions of dollars a year into HIV/AIDS programmes all over Africa and elsewhere, but we are also increasing our commitment to the Global Health Fund. There is recognition that this pandemic scourgethousands of people die every yearhas to be tackled. What is more, if it is not tackled, many African countries will not have the human resources to rebuild themselves.
It is important that the summit made the statement on Zimbabwe. Measures can be taken, such as sanctions, but we must recognise the limitations on what they can achieve in Zimbabwe. The most important thing is that we work closely with the surrounding countries in Africa to get them to realise and understand that we must deal with the problem in Zimbabwe, because it threatens to blight and destroy the lives of many people, not only in that country but all over the south of Africa. We must work with the countries in the region on that.
In respect of the Congo, we will make a UK commitment in so far as we can, but that will be for logistics and support. The French and others are willing to take the lead in the force around Bunia. The UN MONUC force is also there. I have to be frank about the fact that I do not think that these plans are in a sufficient state of readiness. We are seeing what more we can do with others to ensure that we can make a better and swifter response. I am convincedthis was also discussed at the summitthat the ultimate solution to this problem is for Africa to take on these peacekeeping tasks. That is why the UN plan that we agreed to back is so important. It will mean that in the next few years there will be properly equipped and properly trained regional peacekeeping forces all over Africa, with which the developed world can help and which can move swiftly into any conflict. The number of troops required in these situations is not great, as we found in Sierra
Mr. Charles Kennedy (Ross, Skye and Inverness, West): Although there are obviously some disappointments about the summit, welcome progress has been made on a number of key fronts, not least nuclear non-proliferation, the new practical assistance for Africa in the field of peacekeeping, and the big tantalising prize of the further advancement of the middle east peace process. Let us hope that the steps under way as we speak will eventually lead to the emergence of two stable and secure states, living side by side in peace and security.
We very much welcome the announcements on Iran and North Korea, urging them to cease their nuclear developments and to verify their progress. There is no doubt that the non-proliferation treaty must be upheld, and there is an obvious need for the International Atomic Energy Agency to inspect Iran's facilities. Will the Prime Minister acknowledge that the United Kingdom must continue to preserve its balanced and sensible policy on Iran? It is distinct from the stance adopted by the United States, as he knows only too well. Will he spell out what mechanisms he would consider if the Iranians did not respond to the call issued in the past few days by the G8 membership? Will he rule out taking military action against Iran? Does he see further potential for the development of a common European front on this issue?
It is correct to welcome the movement, such as there was, towards rapprochement among the nations that were in disagreement with our country and, primarily, with the United States over what has taken place in Iraq, although there is a great deal further to go. Does the Prime Minister acknowledge that the Germans and, perhaps to a lesser extent, the French bridle somewhat at the sight and sound of the American President arriving in continental Europe and remonstrating with those who, in a candid and upfront international way, chose to take a different view from his own and that of his Administration of what took place in Iraq?
Does the Prime Minister share the sense of disappointment at the lack of progress on debt relief? The statements on water, sustainability and NEPAD were full of worthy sentiments but rather empty of content. Does not that pose a longer-term danger to the G8, which is losing credibility, especially in the eyes of the developing world?
Given the aid that is being provided to Africa, which is welcome, does the Prime Minister acknowledge that those countries would benefit from a big improvement if they had the capacity to produce their own generic drugs? Does he see scope for further progress on that? What contributions are the British Government making towards such an end?
Does the Prime Minister see scope for the cutting of farm subsidies and export credits? What is his view of the proposals from the European Union and the United States currently before the World Trade Organisation?