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Last Updated: Friday, 28 October 2005, 00:02 GMT 01:02 UK
Churches make Gulf War help call
Many Gulf War veterans became ill after the conflict
Many Gulf War veterans became ill after the conflict
Leading Scottish churchmen have called on the UK Government to do more to help the servicemen and women who became seriously ill after the 1991 Gulf War.

The unexplained illnesses have become known as "Gulf War Syndrome".

Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Dr David Lacy, and Catholic Cardinal Keith O'Brien have written to the prime minister.

They also wrote to all Scottish MPs and MSPs urging them to "bring closure" to this "unhappy state of affairs".

The call came almost a year after an independent inquiry concluded that thousands of UK Gulf War veterans had suffered illness.

Compensation payments

The inquiry, headed by Lord Lloyd of Berwick, called on the government to accept the existence of Gulf War Syndrome - something it has consistently refused to do.

The former law lord also called for the Ministry of Defence to establish a special fund to make compensation payments to veterans of the 1991 conflict whose health had been damaged.

Dr Lacy and Cardinal O'Brien, the Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, called for an end to what they described as a "wrong to bereaved families and men and women in broken health that only their public representatives can redress".

Their letter said: "This is not an issue for party animus but one on which Scotland's public representatives and churches should work together to achieve a humane settlement without further delay."

Q&A: Gulf War illness
17 Nov 04 |  Health

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