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Jonathan Djanogly backs calls for Parliamentary consent before arming Syrian rebels


11th July 2013

Jonathan Djanogly backs a motion that would require the consent of Parliament before the UK provided arms to Syrian rebels and raises his concerns of possible consequences.

Mr Jonathan Djanogly (Huntingdon) (Con): Could we be sure, if we were to arm the rebels against Assad and Hezbollah, that we would not be supporting al-Qaeda or creating a Shi’a-Sunni cross-border conflict, and that we would not be supporting a proxy war between Russia and the west? Is it worth the risk?

Mr Baron: My hon. Friend makes a valid point. One of the problems with this conflict is that there are extremists on both sides. On the rebel side, for example, we know that al-Nusra has close links with jihadist and extremist groups including al-Qaeda. The Government have not been able to answer the question about how they would track and trace weapons to ensure that they did not fall into the wrong hands. We need to remember that in that part of the world weapons are tradable assets. Very little escapes the bazaar. Given that the situation on the ground is fast moving and fluid, it would be nigh-on impossible to ensure that such arms did not fall into the wrong hands.

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