Home Breaking News MP warns of ‘third global major conflict’ in Europe with a ‘fire on our doorstep’

MP warns of ‘third global major conflict’ in Europe with a ‘fire on our doorstep’

2nd May 24 3:16 pm

Independent MP Colonel Bob Stewart DSO who was the first British UN commander in Bosnia in 1992-93 has warned that the Balkans is on the verge of destabilisation.

The former UN commander also known as “Bosnia Bob” told the House of Commons on Thursday that British troops should be sent to the Balkans.

He said that a British Army will be the “best battalion” to send to the region for peace making.

Chairwoman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Alicia Kearns warned that the Balkans face becoming a region of a “third global major conflict” if action is not taken.

Kearns said, “As a minimum the UK should send a NATO peacekeeping force to the strategic Brcko district.”

Kearns said during a security debate, “We should consider the construction of a new security alliance between the US, UK and other willing NATO member states with Kosovo, because this would help allay the immediate security concerns we see.”

Prior to the security debate, Kearns told the PA news agency, “The Balkans matters and if we ignore it, we will end up with a fire on our doorstep.”

She added, “It matters not only for European security, because it is essentially our extended backyard and if there is crisis in the Balkans we will feel it here, it will impact on all of us and we can’t afford a third global major conflict, and that is exactly what it would be.”

Stewart said, “A British battalion positioned in Bosnia would give a very, very strong signal. And, frankly, a British battalion is probably the best battalion to send into such a peacekeeping situation.”

Kearns responded, “We saw when British troops went into Kosovo recently, last September, that there was a resurgence of the actual delivery of the mandate.

“(Stewart) is absolutely right that it is British troops who will make a fundamental difference, and the fact the Dayton Agreement gives us explicit permission to create a new security force means that we should be actively debating this.”

The former UN commander said, “We’ve done so at many levels politically, socially, economically, and quite a lot of economic work has gone on in Bosnia and, of course, militarily. I really believe our efforts will be worth it.

“We have saved many lives. Nothing is more important for us in our lives than to save someone’s life.

“And we’ve got to continue to do that … to do all we can to help the Muslim, Serb and Croat people of Bosnia – the vast majority of them, all they want is a decent life, a life that we are lucky enough to have.”

Foreign Office minister David Rutley said, “At the moment we have no plans to contribute to U4 (a web-based anti-corruption resource centre) or to rejoin at this time, but we recognise that it’s vital for Bosnia and Herzegovina security, and we work hard to support it.

“NATO supports this force under the Berlin Plus arrangements, and the UK continues to be a strong supporter of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s armed forces.”

Conservative former minister Sir Alec Shelbrooke interjected, saying, “It’s all very well saying that we’ll work through the diplomatic areas that work through sanctions, but what I’m really interested in is saving lives.”

He added, “This debate has highlighted that normal diplomatic rules are not going to be enough; we need a big stick.”

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