Syria — Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:05 pm on 6th February 2012.

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Photo of Lord Howell of Guildford Lord Howell of Guildford Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (International Energy Policy) 5:05 pm, 6th February 2012

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.