Foreign Secretary William Hague answered questions about the UK’s policies on Syria, Lebanon and the Middle East Peace Process as part of his visit to Damascus.
Q. @Kingsmurfy: @WilliamJHague does the UK consider Hizbollah a terrorist organization. Also, how do we make sure aid is kept out the hands of such groups
A. @Kingsmurfy Hezbollah’s military wing is banned in the UK as a terrorist group. We take great care that UK aid does not go near such groups
Q. @Juillesim: @WilliamJHague Can the UK government help achieve peace in Palestine while maintaining their traditional bias towards Israel? #fsinsyria
A. @Juillesim We support the legitimate aspirations of both Israelis & Palestinians. Both deserve a better future #fsinsyria
Q. @johnfdrake: @WilliamJHague what relationship do you envisage the UK having with Hizbullah especially after the appointment of Mikati as PM? #fsinsyria
A. @johnfdrake We don’t talk to Hezbollah. We will judge the new gov on its policies, actions & its support from the Lebanese people #fsinsyria
Q. @sirandytaylor: @WilliamJHague What is the Brit Gvt’s position on Israel’s blockade of Gaza? If against, will any action against Israel be taken? #fsinsyria
A. @sirandytaylor Israel has a right to security. But blockade of Gaza is counterproductive & should be lifted #fsinsyria
Q. @OMalleyAndrew: @WilliamJHague Where does Syria stand on the STL, and it’s expected conclusions? #fsinsyria
A. @OMalleyAndrew I can’t speak for #Syria. But people of #Lebanon need to see justice done and #STL work completed #fsinsyria
Q. @HowieShawki: @WilliamJHague #fsinsyria has there been any changes to conservative fp in mideast since the coalition was formed?
A. @HowieShawki I have said for years that Britain needs closer ties with the #MiddleEast. Labour neglected ties with Gulf states in particular
Q. @BoardofDeputies: Will @williamjhague ask the Syrian govt, whose capital hosts Hamas military HQ, to work towards the release of Gilad Shalit? #fsinsyria
A. @BoardofDeputies I met Gilad’s parents in Israel. Everyone who can help bring Gilad home should do so #fsinsyria
Q. @sayedkadiri: Does the Prime Minister envisage having a meeting with President Assad in London or Damascus in the near future? #fsinsyria
A. @sayedkadiri Not on the agenda at this stage. But I am pleased to have begun a good dialogue with #Syria #fsinsyria
Q. ACarlyBBoys: @WilliamJHague What impact do you see Robert Ford having on US-Syria relations in the foreseeable future? #fsinsyria
A. @CarlyBBoys Good that both our countries are speaking to #Syria about problems in the Middle East #fsinsyria
Q. @cherylbaker: @foreignoffice @williamjhague the best thing for peace is for Mubarak - a dictator of 30 years to leave. Democracy doesn’t exist for Egypt**
A. @cherylbaker We can’t choose other countries’ leaders. But demands for more open societies should be heard #fsinsyria #Egypt
Q. @dezwog: @WilliamJHague How can the UK ensure Syria respects Lebanese sovereignty and stop weapon trafficing to Hezbollah? #fsinsyria #ujscampaigns
A. @dezwog We can’t. But military buildup of Hezbollah is dangerous for all countries of the region #fsinsyria
Q. AMaroqui: @WilliamJHague Will you be addressing the plight of Haitham al-Maleh & Mohannad al-Hassani? http://goo.gl/aJWkn #fsinsyria #syria**
A. @Maroqui I did raise human rights cases & we will continue to do so as part of our dialogue with #Syria #fsinsyria
Q. @aliceejohnson: Does the UK government think it’s a good idea to abandon the #STL for the sake of Lebanese stability? #fsinsyria
A. @aliceejohnson No. Lack of justice is more dangerous for long term stability & not in interests of Lebanese people #fsinsyria #Lebanon
Q. @CorinneDoff: @ukinsyria and @williamjhague regarding #fsinsyria. Will anything be done to change unfair and inconsistent travel advice for Yemen?
A. @CorinneDoff @ukinsyria Travel advice is designed to help to keep British citizens overseas as safe as possible #fsinsyria
Q. @TajaddodYouth: @WilliamJHague Please raise the issue of the 100s of Lebanese political detainees in Syrian jails. #humanrights #fsinsyria**
A.@TajaddodYouth I raised human rights, political freedom & the #STL today. I strongly support the STL completing its work #fsinsyria
Q. @helen_symons: @WilliamJHague Please raise the issue of the 100s of Lebanese political detainees in Syrian jails. #humanrights #fsinsyria
A. @helen_symons We support Lebanese sovereignty & a government that does indeed support peace & justice in #Lebanon #fsinsyria
Q. @edwebb: @WilliamJHague #fsinsyria should the US engage more seriously/openly with Syria? What steps, if any, can/does HMG take to bring this about?
A. @edwebb This is up to the US but the UK believes frank dialogue with #Syria is important #fsinsyria
Q. @tonystephen: @williamjhague #fsinsyria How does the UK support justice and stability in Lebanon?
A. @tonystephen Through our diplomacy and by giving support to Lebanese institutions #fsinsyria #Lebanon
Q. @nightfox_04: @WilliamJHague what role can business play in resolving unrest in the Middle East? Business based approach to fp + development?#fsinsyria
A. @nightfox_04 Business links are part of important web of connections between peoples & societies. So do have a role to play #fsinsyria
Q. @ChristianJMay @WilliamJHague Will you urge the Syrian regime to release its grip on the internet and to stop arresting bloggers? #fsinsyria
A. @ChristianJMay I certainly think it is a mistake to try to suppress social media or other forms of expression #fsinsyria