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

26.05.2016Yemen at war
The conflict in Yemen is causing massive suffering to Yemenis. It has recently ground to a halt, with neither side able to achieve decisive gains, but a political settlement remains elusive. Questions have been raised about the use of UK-supplied armaments.
24.05.2016ISIS/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 and local fighters. 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 in December 2015 the UK expanded its air campaign into Syria. How is the campaign progressing?
20.04.2016Nuclear Weapons - Country Comparisons
There are nine countries in the world that have nuclear weapons. Between them they possess an estimated 15,900 nuclear warheads. This paper is intended as a brief guide to which countries possess nuclear weapons and how they are seeking to either modernise or expand those capabilities.
15.04.2016Declaring Daesh massacres 'genocide'
The House of Commons will debate a motion calling on the Government to recognise ISIS/Daesh killings as 'genocide'.
06.04.2016Chilcot 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Iraq Inquiry, chaired by Sir John Chilcot, was originally expected to have reported by now but it looks as if it will not be published until summer 2016
12.03.2016Local authority boycotts
This note discusses proposals to restrict the ability of local authorities to carry out boycotts.
11.03.2016Syrian refugees and the UK
The Government is planning to resettle up to 20,000 Syrian refugees in the UK by the end of this Parliament in 2020. It is under ongoing pressure to extend opportunities for Syrian refugees to be able to come to the UK.
07.03.2016The People's Mujahiddin of Iran (PMOI)
The People's Mujahiddin of Iran (PMOI) or Mujahiddin e Khalq (MEK) is a group of exiled Iranians opposed to the government of Iran. It is a member of a wider coalition known as the National Council of Resistance in Iran. PMOI/MEK was put on to the Government's list of proscribed terrorist organisations in March 2001. This note describes the proscription of the PMOI in the UK and EU and subsequent removal of the organisation from both the UK and EU proscription lists in June 2008 and January 2009 respectively.
26.02.2016Egypt under Sisi
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.
24.02.2016Political reforms and human rights in Bahrain
Repression continues in Bahrain in an increasingly tense regional environment

Lords Library Notes

27.05.2016Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill [HL]: Briefing for Lords Stages
This House of Lords Library briefing provides information in support of the House of Lords' consideration of the Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill [HL].
12.05.2016Queen's Speech 2016 Day 2: Foreign and European Affairs, International Development and Defence
The House of Lords is due to debate the Queen's Speech over four days between 19 and 25 May 2016. This briefing is one of four prepared by the House of Lords Library to cover the themes of each day of debate.
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.

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