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How can the UK balance political progress with security “in a region of bad options”? Lords to question Rory Stewart on the Middle East

Rory Stewart MP, Minister of State for the Department for International Development, will give evidence to the House of Lords Select Committee on International Relations on Wednesday 8 March as part of its inquiry ‘Transformation of Power in the Middle East and Implications for UK Policy'.

The Minister has extensive experience in the region having worked as a deputy governor in Iraq, and as founder and executive chairman of The Turquoise Mountain charity in Afghanistan. Matthew Wyatt, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa Department at the Department for International Development, will also be giving evidence to the Committee.

The witnesses will be asked what the UK can and should do in the Middle East given the magnitude and complexity of the issues in the region. They will be asked how the UK should balance the need for more security versus the pressing need for political progress. Previous witnesses have suggested that this is not an opportune moment to pursue an ambitious agenda around democracy promotion. Other questions will focus on how the UK can protect progress in countries such as Tunisia, where the UK should focus its efforts with young people and on education, and how the UK can address the rise of non-state actors.

The evidence session will take place at 10:30am, on Wednesday 8 March in Committee Room 4, Palace of Westminster.

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