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Friends of Syria meet in Jordan to progress peace in Syria

Foreign Secretary, William Hague, is attending today’s core group meeting of the Friends of Syria in Amman, Jordan.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Children inside a classroom at Za’atri refugee camp, host to tens of thousands of Syrians displaced by conflict, near Mafraq, Jordan.
Children inside a classroom at Za’atri refugee camp, host to tens of thousands of Syrians displaced by conflict, Jordan. UN Photo/Mark Garten.

Hosted by Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judah, the meeting is also being attended by US Secretary of State John Kerry, French Foreign Minister Lauren Fabius, and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu.

The Foreign Ministers will discuss the US-Russian led initiative to bring together the Syrian regime and Syrian opposition in Geneva to help bring about an end to the crisis. Updating the Parliament earlier this week, the Foreign Secretary said:

On 8th May in Moscow Secretary Kerry and Foreign Minister Lavrov agreed the basis for a new international conference bringing together representatives of the regime and the opposition.

The Prime Minister visited Russia on 10th May for talks with President Putin to cement understanding about the purpose of the conference. He held further talks with President Obama in Washington on 13th May, and spoke again to President Putin last Friday.

In our view the conference, which should be held as soon as possible, should be focussed on agreeing a transitional governing body, with full executive powers and formed by mutual consent, building on the agreement we reached at Geneva last year.

We are urging the regime and the opposition to attend the conference and to take full advantage of the opportunity to negotiate. In the end there will have to be a political and diplomatically-supported solution, if there is to be any solution at all. There is no purely military victory available to either side without even greater loss of life, the growth of international terrorism and grave threats to neighbouring countries.

All our efforts are directed at ensuring that the coming conference in Geneva has the greatest possible chance of success.

Further information

Read the Foreign Secretary’s statement in full

For more detail on the UK’s humanitarian work to support Syria

Visit the UK and Syria website pages

Follow the Foreign Secretary on twitter @WilliamJHague

Follow the Foreign Office on twitter @foreignoffice

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Published 22 May 2013