Philip Dunne questions Government on support for a political solution in Lebanon

8th September 2020
Philip Dunne questions the Government about UK support for a political settlement in Lebanon to restore peace and security and calls on the Government to consider Magnitsky-style sanctions if any political leaders are found culpable.
 
 

Lebanon

What steps the Government are taking to support the Lebanese people since the explosion in that country on 4 August 2020. [905639]

Our thoughts remain with the people affected by the terrible events in Beirut. The Prime Minister, the Foreign Secretary and I spoke with the Lebanese President, Prime Minister and ambassador respectively. We rapidly deployed UK medical, humanitarian, military and logistics experts to support Beirutis in their response to the blast. The UK is a long-standing friend of the Lebanese people, and we were pleased to commit £25 million to help the most vulnerable.

On refugee resettlement, the resumption of arrivals remains dependent on covid-19 developments internationally and in the UK. We are not in a position to resume arrivals in the short term.

I thank the Minister for that answer and for the UK humanitarian response. The Lebanese people have suffered greatly from the consequences of civil war and then failed political institutions. What is the Minister doing to help bring about a stable political settlement, to allow the people of Lebanon to restore peace and security to their lives? Will he and the Foreign Secretary consider introducing Magnitsky-style sanctions in conjunction with other key members of the international community if any political leaders are found culpable?

As I say, my right hon. Friends the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary have engaged at the highest levels with the Lebanese Government, and ensuring that there is political and economic stability, as well as security, is key. We support the Lebanese Government in many ways, including through the Lebanese armed forces, which recruit cross-faith and cross-community. Our diplomatic efforts go hand in hand with our humanitarian efforts. My right hon. Friend will understand that future designations under our autonomous Magnitsky sanctions regime are not something that we wish to speculate about at the Dispatch Box, but we will ensure that our support to the people of Lebanon, and Beirutis in particular, continues.

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