International Affairs

Lord David Owen on restructuring the EU and saving Syria

“The Eurozone is fundamentally flawed. It needs substantive changes. That means going towards a more federal, integrated Europe.

“… We have a real problem in that we could face a collapse in Damascus. So-called Islamic State…(are) already in the suburbs and could become the owners of Damascus. That would be an absolute tragedy.”


“Why will the world not focus on doing more to stop the war?” asks Lord Owen.

“The refugee crisis that dominates Europe’s TVs and newspapers is the product of the horrendous civil war that still rages in Syria. Why will we not focus our attention on this? The reality in Syria is that the war creates the refugees. Do more to stop this war is my plea. While we focus on our own necessary response to refugees in Hungarian or Austrian railway stations, the humanitarian situation worsens in and around Syria. Refugee camps are struggling to cope. This civil war has to be stopped.

“Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted meetings on Aug. 25 with King Abdullah of Jordan in Moscow and is also talking to Saudi Arabia. The Security Council in New York should be making a contingency plan for what happens when Assad suddenly leaves Damascus to move to his Alawite coastal stronghold on the Mediterranean.”

Read the full text of Lord Owen’s article in the World Post here: Why Jordan is key to ending the Syrian crisis

David Owen calls for Damascus to be saved

Letter to The Times, published Thursday 27 August 2015



Pakistan and the nuclear deterrent

Lord Owen comments: “In the outline agreement reached two days ago in Geneva between Iran and the US, UK, Russia, China, France and Germany, we can see the relevance of Pakistan’s history and its possession of nuclear weapons.”  Read his Statement in full here: Pakistan & the Nuclear Deterrent

Lord Owen’s House of Lords speech on the report into EU relations with Russia. 24 March 2015

“All the members of the committee deserve to be congratulated on the report and on the tone that they have brought to this discussion…. We have to develop a much greater understanding of the complexity of the issues and we must do so fairly urgently….

“A great deal has been said about this whole issue of why Russia feels encircled. History shows us exactly the same: if you look to the origins of the 1914 war, there is no question but that encirclement was a big factor. It was felt not just by Russia at various stages but byGermany and by other countries…..

“We must return to this area to try to find our way through these difficult questions.”

View the full text here: H.LDebateonEU&Russia24.3.15

Speech by Lord Owen in The House of Lords: Role of Russia in Upholding International Law

Speech by Lord Owen in The House of Lords, 16 October 2014

My Lords, I have been involved in business in Russia since 1995—mainly with a steel firm in Stary Oskol, some 600 kilometres south of Moscow—because I believed then and believe now that through business relations we will best establish good relations between the United Kingdom and Russia. I have also been a very strong believer in the Budapest memorandum, which relates to the subject of this debate, feeling it absolutely essential that countries which give up nuclear weapons should be strongly supported and feel that they have some form of military guarantee. It is of course nowhere near as strong as an Article 5 NATO agreement. I agree with what the noble Baroness, Lady Williams, said just now: it is a great mistake to expand NATO to either Georgia or Ukraine. We were advised about this many years ago by George Kennan; he was completely correct…


To read the full speech please click here

Lord Owen Interview with CNN: Must Work with Moderate Muslims

Lord Owen in an interview with CNN on 1 September states the need to work with moderate Muslims in efforts to defeat ISIS; endorses Obama’s handling of the crisis and need for assembling an international coalition involving the surrounding countries as was done in the first Gulf war under President Bush Snr..


To listen to the full interview please click here

Putin is key to avoiding a new cold war

Article by Lord Owen, published in The Guardian 26 August 2014

If the presidents of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine meet as planned in Minsk tomorrow, it will inevitably recall the time leaders of those same republics met to dissolve the USSR at the Belavezha hunting lodge in Belarus on 8 December 1991.

Then, the key figure was the president of the Russian Federation, Boris Yeltsin. Now it is Vladimir Putin. In 1991, George HW Bush was still striving to keep the Soviet Union together, and he was not sure which way Yeltsin would move. Today, Obama will be hoping for a settlement, but is very unsure of the outcome…

To read the full article please click here