Following a month of public protests in Tunisia, Minister for Europe, David Lidlington, updated MPs on the political situation in Tunisia and the Government’s assistance to British Nationals in the country.
As calls for political reform spread to Egypt, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for North Africa and the Middle, Alistair Burt, made a statement to House of Commons on civil unrest in the region.
Throughout February, the Prime Minister, David Cameron, and the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, made a number of statements to the House of Commons on developments in the Middle East and North Africa.
Updates included the protests in Bahrain, changes of Government in Egypt and Tunisia and the draft UN Security Council Resolution on Libya.
In early March, the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary made statements to the House of Commons on the ongoing conflict in Libya and the crisis facing Japan following the earthquake and tsunami in the region.
UN Security Council Resolution
On 18 March 2011, the Prime Minister made a statement to the House of Commons on the implementation of UN Security Resolution 1973. David Cameron told MPs that the resolution demanded ‘the immediate establishment of a ceasefire and a complete end to violence and all attacks against, and abuses of, civilians' in Libya.
The resolution also established 'a ban on all flights' in the airspace of Libya in order to help protect civilians.
Late March saw debates in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords on military action in Libya, as well as statements from the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary, on events in North Africa and the Middle East and an update on the humanitarian situation in the Ivory Coast.
Before both Houses rose for Easter recess, the Foreign Secretary updated the House of Commons on the humanitarian situation in the Ivory Coast and told MPs that Britain continued to 'play its part in the implementation of UN Security Council resolution 1973 to protect civilians in Libya’. A debate followed in the House of Commons on 5 April 2011 on humanitarian relief and Libya.
House of Commons Library analysis
The House of Commons Library regularly produce briefing papers which inform MPs about key issues. The House of Commons has produced six briefing papers on recent events in North Africa and the Middle East.
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