Press release

Press briefing: afternoon 9 September 2015

The Prime Minister's Official Spokesperson answered questions about Syria and refugees.

Syria

When asked about the situation in Syria, the Prime Minister’s Official Spokesperson (PMOS) said the government wanted to see a political solution to the crisis in Syria. The PMOS said that if there was an opportunity to work with other partners in the region – partners that the government had not engaged with as much to date, nor had been of the same mind in terms of how to approach the conflict in Syria – then the government should consider them. The priority was to work to deliver a political solution where the Syrian people could live in a prosperous, democratic and peaceful country – something, the PMOS added, President Assad could not deliver.

In respect of British airstrikes in the country, the PMOS said the Prime Minister thought there was a strong case for joining coalition airstrikes against ISIL in Syria, but only on a consensual basis through the House of Commons.

Refugees

When asked about refugees and proposals from aid agencies that the UK should be willing to relocate unaccompanied asylum-seeking children from within Europe, the PMOS said the government’s best efforts were focused on looking at the resettlement of those children directly from refugee camps around Syria.