The Foreign Secretary welcomes UN announcement of date for talks on Syrian political process to be attended by the National Coalition.

The Foreign Secretary, William Hague, said:

I welcome the announcement by the United Nations that the “Geneva II” peace conference on Syria will begin on 22nd January. A negotiated political transition in Syria is the only way to end the conflict and alleviate Syria’s humanitarian crisis. I am determined to ensure that the political process includes a direct role for women’s groups, and we will work closely with the UN and the international community to make this a reality.

When I hosted a meeting of the ‘London 11’ Core Group of the Friends of Syria on 22 October, we resolved to put our collective weight behind the Geneva II process, making clear that a political transition would mean that Assad can have no future role in Syria. I greatly welcome the opposition National Coalition’s decision to participate, recognising them as being at the heart and lead of the opposition delegation. Our support for them will be extended and sustained throughout the Geneva II process.

The Syrian regime is now in the spotlight. They need to take immediate steps to alleviate humanitarian suffering across the country, and stop their brutal tactics which include besieging and attacking civilian areas. In the coming weeks they need to demonstrate that they will go to the Geneva II talks prepared to negotiate a political transition and end the violence.

Further information

Follow the Foreign Secretary on twitter @WilliamJHague

Visit the UK and Syria website pages

Follow the Foreign Office on twitter @foreignoffice

Follow the Foreign Office on facebook and Google+

Media enquiries

Help us improve GOV.UK

Please don't include any personal or financial information, for example your National Insurance or credit card numbers.