Dave Anderson at the TUC

Dave Anderson MP, joint President of Labour Friends of Iraq told delegates at the TUC fringe meeting on Iraq of a meeting he had with an Iraqi MP Adnan Pachachi who was Iraqi Foreign Secretary before Saddam Hussein took power.
“Adnan painted a bleak picture of major problems facing Iraq, particularly the weakness of its security forces which have been massively infiltrated by insurgents and are not yet up to scratch. He said that more foreign military support not less was needed and suggested that Iraq needed a UN military force made up of Arab and European armies.
It’s also essential that the British Government does more to support independent grassroots groups like the unions which are an essential building block of any democracy. We have to make sure that thousands of Iraqis, over 2,000 US soldiers and 118 of our own boys haven’t died in vain by helping build a proper democracy in Iraq.”
The TUC also heard from Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett who praised the work of Iraqi unions. Dave Anderson added that “support for the Iraqi labour movement is both a question of solidarity with those who want jobs and peace like everyone else. But it’s also in all our interests because the unions can do much to unite Iraq and bring on the day when British troops can be withdrawn. A strong Iraqi labour movement can stabilise democracy in Iraq whose success could also help undermine extremism throughout the Middle East. I shall keep raising these issues in the Commons and seeking practical support for Iraqi unions.”