Region: Middle East

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Parliamentarians to gather in Doha for #IPU140

Over 1600 parliamentarians, UN partners and experts from around the world will meet in Doha, Qatar, for the 140th IPU Assembly from 6 to 10 April. Under the overarching theme of education for peace, the Assembly will also consider ways in which parliaments can boost gender equality- particularly in the region, take measures to counter terrorism, promote human rights and invest in renewable energy.   The Qatar Shura Council will host delegates from around 160 countries including 80 Speakers of Parliament, 40 Deputy Speakers and over 800 MPs.

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IPU calls for actions to defend persecuted MPs worldwide

At the 140th IPU Assembly in Doha, Qatar, the global parliamentary community strongly condemned human rights violations against MPs worldwide.  At the Assembly, the IPU Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians, the only international body with an exclusive remit to support MPs in danger, recommended action in the cases of 187 parliamentarians in a dozen countries whose human rights have been violated.

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MPs engage in world’s biggest parliamentary diplomacy platform

Parliamentary dialogue and diplomacy were at the forefront of 140th IPU Assembly in Doha, Qatar, as over 800 MPs from 160 countries convened in the world’s biggest platform for global parliamentary exchange. In the final Doha Declaration endorsed at the Assembly, MPs from national parliaments underlined the critical role of education to enhance peace, security and the rule of law as well as support democracy and human rights.

The UK delegation led by Rt Hon Ann Clwyd MP meets with the President of Iraq, HE Fuad Massoum.JPG

UK delegation visits Iraq at pivotal time for its future

A UK parliamentary delegation which visited Iraq 13-16 February 2018 saw the country poised at a crossroads in which the upcoming elections will be crucial. The policy approaches and political stability of any government resulting from these elections will be a key determinant in whether a largely positive trajectory on the back of the victory over Daesh will continue. Political stability, addressing corruption and economic/social progress are pre-conditions for the full delivery of the $30 billion pledged recently to rebuild the country. 

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MPs respond to looming famine in Africa and Yemen

The global parliamentary community has called for urgent international action to save millions of people from famine and drought in parts of Africa and Yemen.  In an emergency item adopted 4 April at the 136th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), the Organization’s Members committed to pressuring their governments to fund humanitarian relief operations to avert this crisis.

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Iraq delegation keen to highlight unity and partnership with UK

BGIPU hosted from late November a delegation from Iraq led by the Chair of the Iraqi-British Parliamentary Committee, Dr Hanan Saeed Mohsin, with seven parliamentary collegues representing all the key factions of the Iraqi Parliament.  The delegation sought deeper engagement with UK counterparts with the key message being that for the first time in decades all Iraqis were united in securing the future with current efforts to liberate Mosul from the control of Daesh being a decisive and important step.

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Knesset Speaker addresses UK MPs and Peers

The Knesset Speaker, Yuli-Yoel Edelstein visited the UK Parliament on 2 March 2016 during an official visit to the United Kingdom. He was accompanied by Knesset members and staff and delivered an address to members of both Houses in the IPU Room outlining his views on a range of issues related to the peace process, regional affairs and bilateral relations.  He also underscored his faith in the value of inter-parliamentary dialogue and the Knesset’s commitment to this, including through the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).  During his visit to the UK Parliament, Speaker Edelstein also meet the Speaker of the House of Commons, Rt Hon John Bercow MP and the Lord Speaker, Baroness D’Souza CMG PC.

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Timely visit from Shura Council of Saudi Arabia

A parliamentary delegation from the Shura Council of Saudi Arabia had detailed exchanges with UK counterparts on bilateral and regional issues, including underscoring our common commitment in the fight against Daesh. Ongoing advances in the role of women in Saudi Arabia, including participation in local elections was also welcomed. The delegation engaged parliamentary counterparts on science, technology, innovation and business links to expand bilateral cooperation, culminating in a very productive visit to Oxford University.

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Parliamentary links support full restoration of UK-Iran relations

BGIPU, in close collaboration with Co-Chairs of the Iran All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), Rt Hon Jack Straw MP and Mr Richard Bacon MP, hosted a parliamentary delegation from the Islamic Republic of Iran from 9 to 13 March 2015 in return for a successful visit undertaken by the APPG to Tehran in January 2014. The visit was successful in strengthening inter-parliamentary relations between both countries in support of official government efforts to fully restore bilateral relations.

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Better understanding current challenges facing Lebanon

Lebanon remains one of the very few efective democracies in the Middle East. This is at risk, however, due to ongoing political impasse.  Lebanon’s current role as a front-line state for the conflict in Syria and a significant influx of refugees has also created new challenges and tensions.  A delegation visit by APPG members, comprising Andrew Love MP (Lab), Brooks Newmark MP (Cons) and Lord Hylton (Crossbench), met the Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister, the Minister for Social Affairs, the traditional leader of the Druze community, as well as Members of the Lebanese Parliament from a variety of parties to explore current thinking on the country’s future.