Middle East

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on the Middle East. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Commons Briefing Papers

15.12.2015ISIS/Daesh: the military response in Iraq and Syria
US-led air strikes against ISIS continue in Iraq and Syria, alongside a training programme to build the capacity of Iraqi security forces. The UK has been conducting airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq since September 2014 and has been providing training assistance to Iraqi security forces and the Kurdish Peshmerga. Following a vote in Parliament, the UK recently expanded its air campaign into Syria. But will it make a difference?
01.12.2015Legal basis for UK military action in Syria
What is the legal significance of the November 2015 UN Security Council Resolution for the UK and other states using force in Iraq and/or Syria?
30.11.2015Syria: a reading list
This is a reading list that covers the situation in Syria, the complexity of battling Syrian groups and of outside interventions, the legal implications of any UK intervention and other aspects that will form part of one of the House's most significant debates of recent years.
27.11.2015Iraq and Syria - developments in 2015
After the Paris attacks, the pressure for Western countries to do more about ISIS has grown. Is that leading them to downgrade the violence perpetrated in Syria by the government of Bashar al-Assad?
18.11.2015Seeking a negotiated solution in Syria
Political negotiations between the major powers may have been given a boost by events in Syria and Paris, but big differences remain. Meanwhile, the Syrian parties did not participate in the latest round of talks
10.11.2015Egypt 2015
The political aftermath of the military coup that removed Muslim Brotherhood has been rough on the Muslim Brotherhood and other opponents of the new government; the airline crash in the Sinai underlined growing security worries. Nevertheless, President al-Sisi remains popular with large segments of the population, however.
20.10.2015UK drone attack in Syria: legal questions
The UK drone attack in Syria that killed two British men raises many legal questions. Was it self-defence? What about the laws of war? How does human rights law apply? What is the legal significance of the attack?
16.10.2015The Lausanne Accord with Iran
The nuclear negotiations with Iran took a big step forward with the announcement of a framework for a full agreement, to be signed by the end of June 2015. Will they make it across the finishing line?
04.06.2015Chilcot Inquiry and delays to publication
The Iraq Inquiry, chaired by Sir John Chilcot, was originally expected to have reported by now but it looks as if it will not be published until 2016
19.05.2015Key Issues for the 2015 Parliament
This book examines the key issues facing the House of Commons over the course of the 2015 Parliament - from the public finances to the UK's membership of the EU and from school places for children to climate change.

Lords Library Notes

15.09.2015Recent Developments in the Middle East and North Africa
This Library Note provides background material on recent developments in the Middle East and North Africa.
13.02.2014Debate on 27 February: Syria and the Middle East
This Library Note provides background reading in advance of the debate in the House of Lords on 27 February 2014 on recent developments in Syria and the Middle East.
27.06.2013Debate on 1 July: Recent Developments in Syria, the Middle East and North Africa
This Library Note provides background reading in advance of the debate in the House of Lords on 1 July on recent developments in Syria, the Middle East, and North Africa.
10.07.2012Debate on 13 July: Recent Developments in the Middle East
This Library Note provides a brief summary of recent developments in selected countries in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as a table of statistical information covering the whole of the region.
12.03.2012Debate on 16 March: Recent Developments in the Middle East
This Library Note provides a brief summary of recent developments in Egypt, Iran, Israel/Palestine, Libya and Syria, as well as a table of statistical information covering the whole of the Middle East and North Africa.
03.02.2012Question for Short Debate on 8 February: Blockade of Gaza
This Library Note provides an overview of the blockade of Gaza by the Government of Israel, including its history, attempts to bypass the blockade and recent developments. It then examines the impact of the blockade on the humanitarian situation in Gaza, and finally the response of the British Government.

Select Committee Reports

06.10.2009Global security: Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.
Government response. Foreign and Commonwealth Office report [Commons]
15.07.2009Global security: Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.
Foreign Affairs Select Committee report [Commons]

Early Day Motions

That this House welcomes the December 2011 Report by the EU Heads of Mission in Jerusalem and Ramallah, especially the proposal for appropriate EU legislation to prevent and discourage ...
That this House expresses its support for the general strike in Egypt due to be held on 11 February 2012 called by the Egyptian Federation of Independent Trade Unions and supported ...
That this House believes that life over the last 100 years in that part of the Middle East known as the Holy Land should form part of the National Curriculum for History so that pupils ...
That this House is deeply concerned at the prospect of war with Iran; is appalled at the naval military build-up in the Persian Gulf and the danger that this may spark a conflict with ...
That this House welcomes the Government's support for the establishment of a weapons of mass destruction free zone in the Middle East since the 2010 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review ...


  • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses