Oral Answers to Questions — Education
William Hague (Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Richmond (Yorks), Conservative)
Mr Brahimi is a very wise man. I pay tribute to the work of Kofi Annan, but I also welcome Mr Brahimi to this difficult post. He has set expectations as low as possible, which is a wise thing to do, particularly given the situation, but that does not mean he will be lacking in energy or ideas as to what to do. He will be working closely with the Arab League, as well as being the representative of the UN Secretary-General. The Arab League countries have indeed been putting pressure on Russia and China, but so far it has not worked. A large part of the world has been putting that pressure on, including many African nations, too. A majority of the UN member states have attended one or other of the meetings of the Friends of Syria, so the trend of international opinion is very clear, but that effort to change the minds of Moscow and Beijing has not yet been successful.