Syria: Politics and Government

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 9th February 2012.

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Photo of Douglas Alexander Douglas Alexander Shadow Foreign Secretary

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the potential effectiveness of Arab League observers in Syria.

Photo of William Hague William Hague The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

The Arab League continues to have the UK's full support in its effort to resolve the crisis in Syria and to bring an end to the violence. Despite the introduction of the Arab League Observer Mission on 26 November, the Syrian regime has shown no intention of implementing the Arab League Plan it signed on 2 November 2011. Instead it has continued its brutal repression.

Despite some limited co-operation by the Syrian Government in response to the Observer Mission, I am deeply concerned that the increasing violence in Syria led the Arab League to halt its operations. The current military offensive in Homs highlights the continuing violence by the Assad regime. This is why I travelled to New York on 31 January to support a tough Security Council resolution calling on the Syrian Government to implement the Arab League plan to stop the violence in Syria and for a peaceful political transition to a democratic, plural political system. As I said in my statement on 6 February 2012, Official Report, columns 23-25, the UN Security Council's failure to agree a resolution does not signal the end of our efforts to stop the violence in Syria. We will continue our strong support for the Arab League and seek to widen the international coalition of nations seeking a peaceful and lasting resolution to the crisis in Syria.

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