Press release

UK Foreign Secretary met Syrian National Coalition President

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and President Khaled Khoja of the Syrian National Coalition of Revolutionary and Opposition Forces held detailed talks on 4 November about the urgent need for peace in Syria and the opportunity presented by the new political process after Vienna talks on 30 October.

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Speaking after the meeting, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and President Khaled Khoja said:

We share the view that credible negotiations, leading to a political transition, are the only way to solve the conflict, end the terrible suffering of the Syrian people and defeat ISIL. This new political process offers an opportunity to make genuine progress towards Syrian-led negotiations supported by the international community.

Tackling the humanitarian consequences of the conflict is vital - most importantly bringing an end to attacks on civilians and civilian areas, particularly through the Assad regime’s indiscriminate use of barrel bombs - alongside efforts to restart political negotiations.

We agreed on the importance of the National Coalition continuing its important work to reach out to other moderate political and armed groups in Syria and that the opposition negotiating team must be able to speak for the Syrian people.

We are also clear that Bashar al-Assad has no place in Syria’s future.

While Britain is taking a leading role in military operations against ISIL in Iraq, our position on potential strikes in Syria remains the same, we would only go back to the House of Commons on this issue if there was a clear consensus.

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Published 4 November 2015