Foreign Secretary answers questions on Libya and the Arab Spring via Twitter
This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
Foreign Secretary William Hague answered questions on the situation in Libya and also on the Arab Spring on 9 June via Twitter.
After visiting Benghazi on 4 June for talks with the National Transitional Council the Foreign Secretary was able to give a first hand account of the situation on the ground.
Questions were submitted to the Foreign Secretary using the hashtag #askFS
Q.@insilicogenesis: @WilliamJHague - What was the extent of the devastation observed first handedly during your visit, Sir? #askFS Are they still in greet need?
A.@insilicogenesis Human toll is the biggest devastation of all in any conflict - met people in hospital and heard apalling stories
Q.@thoades: Last week we spent £6,000,000 on bombs in Libya, yet we can not afford schools, education or health. Why?
A.@thoades There is a price attached to coming to the aid of other people, but the cost of not doing so would be far greater.
Q.@flyinglawyer73: #AskFS So we stay in #Libya no matter how long it takes to remove #Gaddafi? What about #Zimbabwe #Syria, the list goes on! And the cost?**
A.@flyinglawyer73: I can’t put it better than the PM: just because we can’t do everything doesn’t mean we shoudldn’t do what we can.
Q.@TTAMarshall: Watching events in Syria and Yemen, has the interstaional response been adequate? Does Libya tie our hands elsewhere? #askFS
A.@TTAMarshall: No one can accuse Britain of being slow. We’ve led the way on #Libya & #Syria at the UN… #askFS
A. @TTAMarshall …launched a whole new programme to support democracy in the Middle East & North Africa with £110 million in funding…#askFS
A.@TTAMarshall …helped rewrite EU neighbourhood policy. I could go on. British diplomacy at its very finest in responding to the #ArabSpring
Q. @CrispinJohn: @WilliamJHague #askFS Will the UK now consider going back to the UN to get a new resolution to take direct action to remove Gadaffi?**
A.@CrispinJohn We have the clearest possible UN mandate to protect civilians in #Libya, & we are fulfilling it to the letter… #askFS
A.@CrispinJohn …It is clear that Qadhafi has no future leading #Libya in any shape or form #askFS
Q. @Stop Bombing: @WilliamJHague Why in Hell’s Name are you bombing #Libya? STOP BOMBING LIBYA! IT’S CRIMINAL! #askFS #africa #nato #warcrimes #FXAfrica #bbc1
A. @StopBombing Without our action Benghazi would have fallen & war crimes that the ICC are now investigating would have gone unchecked #askFS
Q.@MCarradini: #askFS @WilliamJHague Minister, how do you reconcile the “Responsibility to Protect” and the interests of civilians supporting Gaddafi?**
A.@MCarradini Qadhafi ruled by fear & oppression & still targets civilians in Western Libya. Many will be desperate to get rid of him #askFS
Q.@pippinlion: @WilliamJHague #askFS why is Libyan state tv still on air despite AL condemnation, un1973 and Egypt based transmission? Would help if gone.
A.@pippinlion I agree. We press all satellite companies to stop transmitting this Qadhafi propaganda, many already have #askFS
Q.@DominicFarrell: @WilliamJHague What’s the exit strategy? #askFS
A.@DominicFarrell Fulfilling the @UN mandate to protect Libyan civilians #askFS
Q.@callmenaivebut: #askFS When will UK formally recognise Libya’s NTC?
A. @callmenaivebut The UK recognises States not Governments, but we regard the #NTC as legitimate representatives of the Libyan people #askFS
Q. @K_H_Jordan: @K_H_Jordan Time is running out for #Qadhafi. International community is united & his regime is starting to crumble around him #askFS #Libya
A. @K_H_Jordan Time is running out for #Qadhafi. International community is united & his regime is starting to crumble around him #askFS #Libya
Q. @Ransom_Stoddard: @WilliamJHague What steps do you envisage to validate and legitimise the level of democratic support for the Rebel ‘government’? #askFS
A. @Ransom_Stoddard #NTC has set out a vision for a democratic #Libya post-Qadhafi. I’m encouraging them to set out plans in more detail #askFS
Q. @hababbi: Mr Hague after visitng Libya tell us what inspired you most to confirm the need for UK to continue to support for the ppl of #libya #askFS
A.@hababbi I was inspired by the enthusiasm of the people I met, their optimism & courage despite what they’d been through #askFS #Libya
Q.@hababbi: Mr Hague What influences will the UK have in helping the ppl establish a new democratic social system in Libya? #askFS
A. @hababbi If we are asked for help then we will certainly want to respond. But we can’t & won’t dictate to people #askFS
Q. @danielsilas: @WilliamJHague - Alain Juppe says Assad has “lost his legitimacy to rule the country” Do you agree? #askFS
A. @danielsilas I think President #Assad should reform or step aside. #askFS #Syria
Q. @manofchew: @WilliamJHague You promise to “isolate those abusing human rights” yet it’s business as usual with Bahrain. Why? #askFS
A. @manofchew It’s not business as usual - we send strong messages to #Bahrain including on #humanrights & reform #askFS
Q. @sayed3li: #AskFS -When do you think the #UK should walk the talk in relation to #Bahrain uprising? Dialogue needs solid ground,not bloody one.
A. @sayed3li We make clear to #Bahrain our view that national dialogue must lead to real progress & reform #askFS
Q. @sjrlloyd: @WilliamJHague BBC said today Syria is making Libya look like a picnic and that reporters are asking why Libya and not Syria? #askFS
A. @sjrlloyd @MichaelSimison clear intl mandate for action in #Libya, not in #Syria. Doing all we can to pressure #Assad regime to stop killing
Q. @NaomiLGoldberg: Will the FS and the British government condemn the human rights violations taking place in Syria? #askFS #MiddleEast
A. @NaomiLGoldberg We do on a daily basis. What is happening in #Syria is unacceptable - that is why we want the #UNSC to respond #askFS
Q.@AASAWEY_BBC: @foreignoffice @williamjhague #askFS The draft at UNSC on Syria, any coordination with Russia? China?
A. @AASAWEY_BBC Consultations today. As PM said anyone voting against #Syria resolution or vetoing it will have it on their conscience #askFS
Q. @FredChukkawakka: Explain why the UK treats #Syria and #Libya differently even though both leaders have killed their citizens to quell uprisings? #askFS
A. @FredChukkawakka We don’t treat #Syria any differently. But harder to build international support for a firm response over #Syria #askFS
Q. AIUKMEG: #askFS given Libya was so swiftly referred to prosecutor of the #ICC, when will the #UK join the call for the same for #Syria’s regime?**
A. @AIUKMEG #ICC referall needs a #UNSC resolution, which on this subject is not possible at the moment #askFS #Syria
Q. @CharlieLewis: #askFS Is there a possibility of intervention in syria as sanctions don’t seem to have worked and casualties are mounting?
A. @CharlieLewis_ sanctions are putting pressure on the regime. Pressure will only increase unless they change course #askFS #Syria
Q. @EmilyDanesRoad: #askFS Cameron threatened to support Palestinian statehood at the UN, are there any other ways Britain will pressure Israel to negotiate?
A. @EmilyDanesRoad Shouldn’t be a Q of outside pressure.The situation in the region & on the ground shld create a sense of great urgency #askFS
Q. @EmilyDanesRoad: #askFS Can you clarify the British stance on Israel/Palestine? Two states based on 1967 borders? And how can Britain help to achieve this?
A. @EmilyDanesRoad 2 secure states based on 1967 lines with #Jerusalem the capital of both & a fair solution for refugees…#askFS #MiddleEast
A. @EmilyDanesRoad …UK gives diplomatic support, talks to the parties, works closely with the US, & with the EU & will continue this #askFS
Q. @RenaSadeghi: Where does Britain stand from continued Israeli settlements in Palestine? Do democracy and int’l law get applied to Israel also?#askFS
A. @RenaSadeghi International law applies everywhere. #UK view is that settlements are illegal and an obstacle to peace #askFS #MiddleEast
Q. @NaomiLGoldberg: How does Mr Hague feel about the Scottish boycott of Israeli books? http://www.west-dunbarton.gov.uk #askFS
A. @NaomiLGoldberg I oppose boycotts of #Israel - they are counter-productive, polarising & shut down dialogue #askFS
Q. @SanityChecker: @WilliamJHague #askFS What is the stimulus behind the Arab Spring? And will the replacement be any better in the medium term?
A. @SanityChecker Demands for freedom, open government, #humanrights & dignity which are natural aspirations of all people everywhere #askFS
Q. @scotiatide: No question, just want to thank the UK for protecting the people of Libya in their time of need - well done #askFS
A. @scotiatide Thank you - we will see the job through until UN resolutions are fulfilled #askFS #Libya
Q. @Jnugteren: The British are using #helicopters and #jets. What is between groundforce intervention and the current situation? #askFS
A. @Jnugteren a huge difference. UNSC 1973 rules out occupying force & we will stick to it.UN mandate gives our moral & legal authority #askFS