Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Minister for the Middle East, Alistair Burt, met with the head of the Syrian Negotiation Commission, Dr Nasr al-Hariri, today to discuss Syria’s future, and the UK’s role in helping to secure a stable, peaceful future for its people.
The Foreign Secretary said:
This visit was a significant opportunity for the UK to discuss with the Syrian opposition our shared efforts to bring this appalling human catastrophe to an end, and stop the suffering that the Syrian people have endured for over seven years.
The regime’s continuation of its brutal offensives, including its use of chemical weapons, and its refusal to engage in negotiations have underlined the challenge of reaching a political settlement. But we remain clear that only a political solution will create a stable, brighter future for the Syrian people. Nasr al-Hariri and the Syrian opposition have again expressed their willingness to engage in direct negotiations with the Syrian regime and Russia without preconditions.
The UK remains at the forefront of the humanitarian response: at the recent Brussels Conference we pledged to provide at least £450 million this year, and £300 million next year, taking the total UK humanitarian funding to £2.71 billion since 2011. This assistance will help to alleviate the extreme suffering in Syria and provide vital support in neighbouring countries.