§ 12. Mr. Wareing
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he last met the ambassador of Yugoslavia to discuss that country's relationship with European institutions.
§ The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Mr. Tristan Garel-Jones)
The Yugoslav ambassador last paid a formal call on my right hon. Friend in November 1989. On 30 January 1991 he called on my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Grantham (Mr. Hogg).
§ Mr. Wareing
Although our minds are rightly concentrated on the Gulf, does the Minister agree that the possible break-up of Yugoslavia creates potential danger to peace in south-east Europe and that the nationalist tensions within that country could give rise to problems for Yugoslavia's neighbours? Is it not therefore in our interest to support the Yugoslav federation's application for membership of the Council of Europe and for a new association treaty with the European Community?
§ Mr. Garel-Jones
The hon. Gentleman will be aware that Yugoslavia already is a guest member of the Council of Europe's parliamentary assembly. Yugoslavia has applied for full membership of the Council of Europe. That has been passed in the usual way to the parliamentary assembly. We now await the opinion of the assembly on the matter. No doubt it will bear in mind the points that the hon. Gentleman has just made.
§ Mr. Aitken
Does my hon. Friend agree that Yugoslavia seems to be perilously close to civil war? Can he assure the House that he will do everything in his power, both through our diplomatic channels and through European institutions, to persuade the leaders of Croatia and Serbia to turn back from their tragic collision course towards bloodshed?
§ Mr. Garel-Jones
The United Kingdom is obliged under the CSCE Final Act to continue to support the unity and integrity of Yugoslavia and also the right of individual 850 peoples to national self-determination. We would deplore the use or the threat of force against any democratically elected Government.