Foreign secretary William Hague today reassured the Syrian people they were “not forgotten”, vowing to rid them of President Assad - with “no option ruled out”.
Foreign secretary William Hague today reassured the Syrian people they were “not forgotten”, vowing to rid them of President Assad – with “no option ruled out”.
He did, however, stress foreign military intervention “would require international agreement” and a “very large scale force”, and that “the best way of avoiding more massacres is to do everything we can to support peaceful transition”, though insisting a successful political transition “precludes Assad’s involvement”.
Mina Al-Oraibi: “As defections across Turkish-Syria borders increase, as so fears of clash, is imposing humanitarian corridor viable?”
Hague: “Humanitarian corridors wld need strong support from neighbouring countries & large scale military force.”
EK McAlpine: “Why doesn’t Syria have grounds for humanitarian intervention?”
Joel Bubbers: “For you is there any acceptable outcome in Syria that would involve President Assad retaining a leadership role?”
Hague: “EU has an arms embargo & extended this to insurance which inhibited a Russian ship recently”
Musaeb: “Is Syria in civil war ? ‘No longer a revolution’.”
Hague: “It has characteristics of both. Sadly it is descending into civil war and situation becoming more urgent.”
Evakatrina: “Is the UK arming the opposition?”
Hague: “No. We enforce the EU arms embargo.”
Hague: “Annan plan best route to peaceful solution, if given full backing of Russia and China.”
Abdulwahab Omar: “Kofi Annan plan has had zero success yet you keep trying to revive it? Are diplomatic solutions failing?”
Hague: “They have failed so far but it is right to keep trying. All alternatives are much longer and bloodier.”
Olivia Williams: “What is the best possible outcome for Syria by now?”
Hague: “A transitional gov as agreed at Geneva supported by UN, and a peaceful transition to democracy.”
Raphael Levy: “Does the UK support the removal of Assad. If not, why? And if so, how?”
Marina More: “How do you plan to make real changes to the Syrian people without Russia or China? Is there any way round them?”
Hague: “Our strong preference is to work with Russia & China but if Annan plan fails no option is ruled out.”
Niccolò Locatelli: “If Assad complies with transition plan, shares powers with opposition but does not leave would it be ok for UK?”
Hague: “We’re clear: successful political transition precludes Assad’s involvement.”
David Sketchley: “What gives the UK the right to interfere in affairs of sovereign states, considering UK’s systematic violations of international law?”
Hague: “Stability would return over time, provided rights of minorities fully respected.”
Noor: “The struggle has been going on for 16 months, when will the international community deem it necessary to intervene?”
Hague: “No option is ruled out. But military intervention wld require international agreement and very large scale force.”
Viresh Joshi: “How many more massacres will it take until the global community realises that the Annan Peace Plan hasn’t worked?”
Hague: “Hasn’t worked so far but best way of avoiding more massacres is to do everything we can to support peaceful transition.”
Kety Shapazian: “Sir, if you could send a message to the Syrian ppl suffering under Assad’s tyranny, what would u tell them?”
Hague: “You’re not forgotten. Tomorrow 100 countries meet in Paris & I hope they’ll agree to coordinate stronger action to help you.”
• Syria: Massacre of the innocents 27 May 2012
• Syria: When will the West act? 2 Jan 2012
This morning, it was reported the foreign secretary will formally seek a UN resolution to remove Assad from Syria, calling for a motion under the UN Charter that can sanction the use of force to remove the Syrian President. He had earlier warned Russia there was “no point” in anybody standing by the Assad regime, telling Moscow the situation in Syria “is leading towards a collapse, to terrible and grave violence”.
Earlier this week on Left Foot Forward, we reported the scale of torture at the hands of Assad’s forces. As Mr Hague says, he can have no part in Syria’s future; by whatever means, the international community must remove him – of that there can be no argument.