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UK Government must lead diplomatic efforts to de-escalate Middle East tensions

June 17, 2019 9:39 PM

Cllr Robin AshbyThe UK Government must work with European allies to de-escalate tensions in Middle East says Cllr Robin Ashby, a Liberal Democrats defence and security analyst.

This follows on action by Jo Swinson MP, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats, who secured an Urgent Question in the House of Commons concerning the attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

Commenting, Robin Ashby said: "The rising tensions in the Middle East, which have been stoked by the attacks on tankers in the gulf and also by a belligerent American President, should be of grave concern to us all and require an immediate diplomatic solution.

"Jeremy Hunt must explain to Parliament how the Conservative Government plans to de-escalate the situation whilst protecting key Gulf shipping on which we depend for much of our imported oil and gas, and he must explain what plans he has to share the additional evidence the Government and the US holds about the events last week with our allies or publicly.

"With just ten days to go until Iran says it will breach its stockpile limit on low-enriched uranium, the Government must work with our European allies and redouble efforts to get the US and Iran back to the negotiating table on the Iran nuclear deal.

"In responding to the situation, the Foreign Secretary must make every effort that any action the UK takes has no adverse effect on Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, unlike his predecessor Boris Johnson who was so cavalier about the life of this British mother."