Osama bin Laden — Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:12 pm on 3rd May 2011.

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Photo of Lord Strathclyde Lord Strathclyde Leader of the House of Lords and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster 4:12 pm, 3rd May 2011

My Lords, I welcome the question of the noble Baroness, Lady Symons of Vernham Dean. She is right to mention Syria, where there is an immensely serious and developing situation. We call for an immediate end to attacks against civilians by the Syrian security forces. The Syrian authorities and their forces should comply with their obligations under international law, international humanitarian law and human rights law, including protecting civilians and meeting their basic needs. We ask President Assad to order his authorities to show restraint and to respond to the legitimate demands of his people with immediate and genuine reform, not with brutal repression. We really do want to see acts of genuine reform and not repression. We are keeping a very close eye on developments in what is clearly a fast-moving picture. There is every opportunity, and time, for President Assad to change the direction of his forces and try to seek an opportunity for genuine reform in Syria, which is an extremely important country.