International Affairs

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…

 

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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…

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It’s Time for the World to Turn to the United Nations to Broker an Israeli-Palestinian Peace

Article by Lord Owen published in The Huffington Post, 1 August 2014

LONDON – Ceasefires come and go between the Israelis and Palestinians while the death toll mounts. Only the United Nations General Assembly can mobilize world opinion. Nothing else seems likely to break the deadlock. The Security Council is un- able to move because of an implicit American veto hanging over its proceedings.
The important development over Gaza is that the Americans are no longer relying on the Egyptians or Saudi Arabia to help broker a settlement, but have turned to Turkey and Qatar in despair to mediate with Hamas, the Palestinian leaders within Gaza. What can Turkey and Qatar do? They can and should urgently liaise between Fatah and Hamas on a brief outline settlement with the objective of putting its terms to the UN General Assembly where it cannot be vetoed as in the Security Council…

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Lord Owen encourages dialogue with and cooperation of Iran in tackling the ISIS forces in Iraq and Syria.

Speech by Lord Owen at Fordham University, New York, 19 June 2014

To be staying in the United States at this time is to experience a strange mood of puzzlement and anger as to how the foreign and security establishment in America should react to ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant). The title for the organisation is at least for the present a reality – for they do control substantial territory in both Syria and Iraq. The question is for how long?..

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The following is also a link to an Interview Lord Owen had with Sky News on 22 June 2014:

Sky News Interview

Charge Blair with contempt of Parliament – only then will we know if he lied over Iraq

Article by Lord Owen, published in The Mail On Sunday, 1 June 2014

From the embers of one war spark the flames of another.
There can be no doubt that the 2003 Iraq war and the insurgency that followed has been an important contributor to the civil war now devastating Syria – a reason, if another was needed, to forensically examine Tony Blair’s actions of more than a decade ago. Democratic politics make great demands on a Prime Minister in time of war.
However, there is nothing more corrosive to their reputation than the accusation that they have lied to the House of Commons – as Anthony Eden did over the Suez crisis in 1956. Tony Blair is increasingly believed to have done the same over Iraq.

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How we can save Syria’s chlorine victims

Article by Lord Owen, published in The Telegraph, 20 May 2014

It was the use of chemical weapons in Syria – in the shape of a horrendous attack in the suburbs of Damascus in the summer of 2013 – that first stirred the world to action. Under a Russian/American deal, reached with United Nations support, the bulk of President Bashar al-Assad’s stockpile of sarin and other chemical warfare components has been satisfactorily dealt with under international supervision.

But now another horror has emerged – the use of chlorine. Tests conducted for this newspaper last month by a retired British army colonel, Hamish de Bretton Gordon, who now runs a chemical weapons consultancy, showed the presence of chlorine and ammonia in samples taken from the scene of eight recent attacks in the north-west of Syria. Witnesses reported that the bombs were dropped by helicopters: if that is true, it would suggest they were deployed by the Assad regime.

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Crimea: Compromise, Not Sanctions, is the Way Forward

Article by Lord Owen, Published in The Huffington Post 17 March, 2014

Crimea Vote

Territorial disputes are only solved after long, hard negotiations. The only recent exception in Europe has been the very successful velvet divorce conducted without referendums or threats of violence by politicians in what was Czechoslovakia. Let us not forget either that that was achieved in the teeth of opposition from European governments and the Russian Federation who wanted no change in boundaries…

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