§ Sir Geoffrey Finsberg
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the recent Western European Union ministerial meeting in The Hague.
§ Mr. Mellor
The meeting in The Hague marked a step forward in the renaissance of WEU and in the development of a more coherent and effective input by Europeans into their own security and that of the Atlantic Alliance as a whole. A platform on European security interests was agreed that will guide WEU's development for the foreseeable future, copies of which have been placed in the Library of the House. Ministers also discussed East-West relations; noted with satisfaction the practical co-operation between the naval forces of WEU544W members in the Gulf; and encouraged the continuing rationalisation and reorganisation of WEU's agencies. I am pleased that following the meeting on 28 October President Reagan publicly welcomed the willingness of the European allies to seek a larger, more closely-co-ordinated role for Western Europe in providing its own defence.