foreign affairs

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?..

To read the full speech please click here

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.

To read the full article please click here

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.

To read the full article please click here

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…

To read the full article please click here

 

 

David Owen: There is hope yet for us to broker a peace in Syria

Article published in The Standard 6 January, 2014

The conference on Syria planned for January 22 in Switzerland, convened by US Sec- retary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, is the one hope left for a quick ceasefire. Yet that will be very difficult to achieve.
On humanitarian grounds, a genuine, monitored ceasefire is imperative — but re- alpolitik, some will argue, means there can be no ceasefire until exhaustion or victory. Also, ceasefire lines have a tradition of becoming permanent, leading to something too close to de facto partition as in Bosnia-Herzegovina, or the emergence of a new country, as in Kosovo…

To read the full article please click here

Syria’s Divided Future?

Lord Owen interview on CNN 5 November, 2013

Lord Owen suggests partition in Syria is becoming an increasingly inevitable outcome as a change in the balance of the elements of the Shia grouping takes place on the ground. He warns that a 1919 Treaty of Paris carve-up must be avoided and that solutions must come from within the region.

For the full interview on CNN International please click here

Diplomatic Opening for Iran Can Help End Syria Crisis

Article by Lord Owen published on Global Vision 23 September, 2013

LONDON — The eyes of the world are focused on the U.N. in New York this week in an amazing turnabout in international politics. We could have been in the midst of a Middle East war with the U.S. and France having attacked Syria, triggering resumed fighting across the border of southern Lebanon and Israel. Instead, the U.N. is back on center stage, the Security Council is functioning again, and its five permanent powers are in a constructive dialogue over chemical weapons in Syria for the first time in two and a half years.

And in an immensely encouraging sign, we have the presence in New York of the new president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, clearly intent on improving relations with the U.S. and President Obama and talking the language of peace on how to accommodate Iran’s right to have a civil nuclear power program with respected non-proliferation treaty safeguards to prevent the manufacture of nuclear weapons…

To read the full article please click here

Interview with Ken Livingstone and David Mellor on LBC

Interview on LBC, Saturday 7 September, 2013

Speaking on LBC Lord David Owen former Foreign Secretary demanded that “The UK Government table a resolution in the Security Council this weekend for an urgent debate on the immediate removal of all chemical weapons from Syria under UN inspection teams with representatives on those teams from the five permanent members.”

“Let us see whether China would veto such a resolution, whether Russia would? It is clear from the St Petersburg G20 meeting that such a resolution would have the support of many big nations. It is not enough for our Prime Minister to say after the vote he respects the democratic decision of Parliament; he needs to act on it…”

To read the full interview please click here