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Syria and North Korea

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:13 pm on 18th April 2017.

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Photo of Crispin Blunt Crispin Blunt Chair, Foreign Affairs Committee 4:13 pm, 18th April 2017

I thank the Foreign Secretary for the detailed evidence he has presented to the House about the responsibility for the nerve agent attack in Syria. I commend him for giving the House that detail and, in doing so, I invite him to depersonalise his assessment of the Syrian regime simply around the personality of its President. We already have in place a mechanism by which that President will be held to account in future by the Syrian people if he wishes to seek their views under the International Syria Support Group conclusions of November 2015. That process has already been agreed on by 20 nations, and we should be relying on that and not using rhetoric that might make it more difficult to get into that process.

Finally, if I may ask my right hon. Friend about North Korea, I invite him to put pressure on the United States to try to dial down the public rhetoric. In some ways, North Korea is like an attention-seeking child who happens to belong to someone else—in this case, China. While the United States has proper responsibilities to the other nations in the area about their security, ratcheting up the rhetoric with North Korea is probably the wrong way of publicly dealing with it.