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Middle East

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL5619, tabled on 11 March 2015

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what proposals concerning persecution and atrocities against Christians in the Middle East they intend to lay before the United Nations Security Council at its meeting on 27 March.

Answered on

18 March 2015

At the meeting of the UN Security Council on 27 March, we will call for renewed efforts to tackle the systematic and deliberate attacks against religious and ethnic minorities in the Middle East and North Africa, including Christians. We deplore all discrimination against religious and ethnic minorities and constraints on their freedom to practise their faith. We regularly urge all governments in the region to ensure the protection of all religious minorities. We encourage them to develop inclusive political systems that represent all of their citizens. We also work proactively in the region to promote community cohesion and inclusive governance.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have been responsible for many recent atrocities committed against religious and ethnic minorities in Iraq and Syria. We condemn these appalling acts and are committed to defeating ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained international strategy as part of the efforts of the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL. The humanitarian aid provided by the UK will have helped many victims of ISIL’s atrocities, including the protection of vulnerable groups. The UK co-sponsored the resolution passed by the UN Human Rights Council on 1 September which highlights ISIL’s abhorrent actions and commits to a team of experts going to Iraq to investigate these atrocities. The findings of this investigation are due to be discussed later this month. In both Iraq and Syria we will continue to look at every available option to ensure accountability, and to work with our international partners on what can be done to both assist the victims and survivors and to bring those responsible to justice.