Syria — Statement
Lord Howell of Guildford (Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office; Conservative)
That is absolutely true. My noble friend is completely correct that both Governments have problems-shall we put it like that-with certain areas that are seeking either secession or a degree of autonomy that they do not want to accept, and they have this fear of fragmentation of their own national boundaries. That is a very strong motivation. On top of that, as I said earlier, Russia has huge interests in Syria, including its colossal naval base at Tartus.