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Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: My Lords, my noble friend has put his finger on one of the biggest problems with which we must deal; namely, the refugee returns, which will be very difficult. It is not just a matter of those from Krajina, but of people of all backgrounds from all over former Yugoslavia who have had their homes torched. The reconstruction will be on a very large scale. However, we hope to help those people to be involved in the reconstruction of their own homes under the guidance of the World Bank. The programme has to be worked out in great detail. I shall shortly be going to discuss the particular problems of the Serbian refugees, who have not been part of the general concern in the past. For this process to be successful one has to settle all the refugees in the best possible way.

In regard to NATO not being suitable so far as a rapid reaction force is concerned, I really do disagree with my noble friend. NATO is eminently well able to be the rapid reaction force and has indeed been so since the bombing in Sarajevo market in August. It was the NATO led rapid reaction force, with many brave Britons involved in it, which helped to turn the tide and lay the foundation for what has subsequently happened at Dayton. While the agreement at Dayton may be very

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difficult to comprehend, even for those of us who seem to have lived with it day and night over the past three weeks, I can assure my noble friend that it has a far better chance than anything we have seen before.

So far as the two corridors are concerned, there is a problem of access to territories on either side of them, as my noble friend mentioned. However, I am not sure that building unsightly concrete fly-overs would be the best way of resolving the difficulty. I believe that there will have to be some road building in the area. These are the sorts of questions that the high representative will be responsible for helping work out with the World Bank team. That will follow on from the peace implementation conference to which we look forward next month.

Lord Beloff: My Lords, following the question of my noble friend Lord Lauderdale, does the Krajina come within the competence of the new economic rehabilitation machinery or is that confined to Bosnian territory? Are we talking about something for the whole of former Yugoslavia or are we speaking of machinery to deal with the particular problems of Bosnia?

Perhaps I may also ask for illumination on what the Minister meant when she remarked that the United Nations was going to suspend and eventually abolish the sanctions on federal Yugoslavia and also--as I understood it--lift the arms embargo but with a measure of arms control. I was not clear how the arms control stood in relation to raising the embargo. Does it mean an embargo on some kind of armaments or armaments from some quarters? To my mind there is some ambiguity. I shall quite understand if the Minister finds it difficult to answer now but I feel that we shall probably need to return to it.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: My Lords, I thank my noble friend for his questions. Very few people have seen the final map which was agreed by the three parties in Dayton. Therefore I cannot with certainty answer his question on the Krajina. I understand it to be the case that those areas which have been devastated need to be included in the overall reconstruction because whoever is going there must have somewhere to live and be able to function. I shall come back to the noble Lord with some more detail when I have seen the map and indeed when the decisions have been made about how the implementation will be carried out.

With regard to the noble Lord's comment about suspension of the arms situation, I understand that it will be done in two stages. But there will need to be monitoring before lifting of the embargoes is completely finished. That is why in the Statement he will find that we refer to the,


    "phased lifting of the arms embargo, alongside the establishment of an arms control regime"

in order that--this was not in the Statement--no build-up of arms of a similar nature as has happened in recent years can happen again. I cannot tell the noble Lord more than that at the moment but I shall keep him informed on the issue.

Lord Bruce of Donington: My Lords, I have only one very short question. Can the noble Baroness give

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the House any information at all about the attitude of the Federal German Republic to the arrangements that have been so happily reached in the United States? I shall quite understand if she finds it inconvenient to reply to that question. However, she will recall that there was unilateral political action taken by Herr Kohl in the recognition of Croatia, which rather influenced the events that happened afterwards.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: My Lords, all I can tell the noble Lord is that Germany, being one of the five countries involved in the contact group, present and active throughout at Dayton, must be party to all that was eventually put to the three warring parties gathered at Dayton. Therefore, the Germans must have signed up to everything of which I have spoken this afternoon and indeed to the full implementation. I understand the anxieties implied by the noble Lord but I feel that it is better to look forward in this case and not back.

Lord Geddes: My Lords, if the figure of 13,000 British troops is, roughly speaking, accurate, is my noble friend entirely confident that we have sufficient troops--I bear in mind Options for Change--to fulfil that role without overstretching those troops' duties elsewhere? Secondly, would she be kind enough to tell us, in view of the parlous state of the United Nations' economy, who will pay for those troops?

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: My Lords, my noble friend presses me in asking about troop numbers. I am quite certain, having had as many as 12,000 British troops deployed at one stage through the UNPROFOR forces, that we can manage 1,000 or 2,000 more without any great difficulty and, indeed, we are ready to do so.

So far as concerns the state of UN finances, obviously that is a matter for the international financial institutions. It must now be worked out in detail who pays for what and I was very careful in the Statement to make it absolutely clear that Britain, having shouldered a very large burden over three years, looks to other countries to play their full part alongside us in the implementation of this peace.

Lord Harris of Greenwich: My Lords, perhaps I may return to a question put by the noble Lord, Lord Richard. In his Statement, the Foreign Secretary referred to the creation of an international police task force. I assume that we shall be making a contribution to that force. What is the scale of that contribution likely to be? Obviously, it is an extremely important part of the overall agreement and it would be of considerable interest for us to be told what our contribution is going to be.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: My Lords, I thank the noble Lord for his question. He may know that we already contribute to policing work in Mostar through our earlier agreement with the federation. But in this case we believe that we can play a greater role. The numbers have not yet been worked out but there is no doubt that the nine officers who are already with the Western European Union police contingent in the administration at Mostar have more than proved their worth in planning, core training and co-ordination. We

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hope that under their guidance a similar system can be deployed. I regret that I cannot give him the detail at the moment. We have not even got to the Peace Implementation Conference. There is a great deal of work to do. Our willingness to do it must be matched by others' willingness to participate and to pay.

Lord Vivian: My Lords, can my noble friend say whether any time embargo has been placed on the British, French and American troops from the time of their deployment in former Yugoslavia?

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: My Lords, no absolute finite time embargo has been decided but we are thinking in terms of one year to start with. It may have to be extended. We have to be realistic about the kind of progress that can be made within a year after all the terrible years of conflict.

Lord Mackie of Benshie: My Lords, I welcome the Statement repeated by the noble Baroness. One must praise the efforts and the success of the United States in bringing about a possible end to this conflict after many years. Does she agree that western Europe needs to look very carefully at where it is going and where Western European Union should go? Although our troops and volunteers have done tremendously good work bringing food and relief to Sarajevo and other places, would it not have been far better if we had been able to take a robust and collective attitude at the start and put in a rapid reaction force at that time instead of trying to relieve the distress which has gone on for three years? When it comes to Serbs breaking promises, is it not also true that we are gravely at fault in that we did not fulfil the threats that we made and put ourselves in a position where the Serbs knew that they could take advantage? I do not want to blame people, but is it not the case that we must get our act together in Europe instead of relying on the United States to pull our chestnuts out of the fire?

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord Mackie of Benshie, is being a little unreasonable. It was by no means just the United States. The agreement at Dayton could not have been achieved without the help of France, Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom. There has certainly been no lack of will on the parts of France or ourselves at any stage to try to resolve these issues. The noble Lord may be right that there needs to be a clearer strategy for the way in which western Europe is proceeding on a number of fronts, but in relation to this matter and many other aspects there is no doubt about what we, our French partners, and the Germans are seeking to do.

Regarding the force to implement the peace, it is right and is clearly what was needed a long while ago could we have achieved it that NATO should lead the international implementation force. NATO is a co-ordinated, combined force. Some of our difficulties in the past were due to the fact that many of the troops who served bravely and well had never served as part of NATO. However, we cannot turn back the clock in the way that the noble Lord seeks to do and accuse Europe of breaking its promises. The French and British have nothing to be ashamed of in all they have done in

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the past three-and-a-half years in Bosnia. Without their help and knowledge now we would not have achieved the Dayton agreement.


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