Sir Julian Lewis: According to the Ministry of Defence, the Sudanese armed forces have been reasonably helpful on evacuation issues, but surely the best possible protection for any future evacuation would be under the auspices of the United Nations where blue berets still count for a lot. Can my right hon. Friend assure the House that the Government are in the closest contact with the UN to see whether that extra degree of protection can be obtained for any future extraction operation?
[The Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (Mr Andrew Mitchell): I can assure my right hon. Friend that not only is the role of the UN under constant examination, to be progressed in any way we possibly can, but that, as Britain holds the pen – in the jargon of these things – at the UN on Sudan, we are leading the efforts to ensure that all possible opportunities through the United Nations are pursued.]