LONDON- UK warship to help dispose of Syria's chemical weapons, William Hague says.British Foreign Secretary William Hague expressed he aims “to agree on a transitional government body with full executive power” at the Geneva II conference on the Syrian conflict scheduled for January 22. Giving a statement to the United Kingdom (UK) parliament, Hague said the transitional government would be formed “by mutual consent” and to meet the “aspirations of the Syrian people."
Giving a statement to the United Kingdom (UK) parliament, Hague said the transitional government would be formed “by mutual consent” and to meet the “aspirations of the Syrian people.”
“We will continue to intensify our efforts to reach a political settlement to save lives and to protect our own security.”
“It is only through a political resolution that the conflict can be brought to an end,” he added.
In the statement, Hague reiterated the UK’s support for the Syrian opposition by saying, “We will not give up on diplomacy as a route to stopping bloodshed, nor will we waver in supporting moderate Syrian opposition.”
Noting he would continue encouraging the Syrian opposition to attend the Geneva II talks, he announced that the UK would be pledging more money to the crisis in Syria.
The UK has pledged £500 million to the help those affected by the conflict, the largest amount given by the UK to a single crisis, William Hague noted.
“We’ve given more than £20 million in support for opposition groups, civil society, ?human rights defenders and media activists,” he said.
He told parliament that the UK secretary for international development would attend a pledging conference in Kuwait where the UK will make a donation to a new UN appeal for $6.5 billion for Syria.
He also announced that the Royal Navy was sending HMS Montrose to the region to assist in the removal of Syria’s chemical weapons. He also said that Britain would provide specialist equipment to the Americans to help dispose of Syria’s chemical arsenal.
Lamenting at the use of barrel bombs by the Syrian regime and the obstruction of humanitarian aid to the Syrian people, Hague said, “Assad and those around him should be in no doubt that the world will hold them to account.”
He told MPs that Bashar Al Assad’s indiscriminate bombing of Aleppo was “Yet another war crime.”
The Foreign Secretary told the UK parliament that they have been advocating for a direct role for women in the Geneva II negotiations.
He ended by saying that he was under “no illusions” about how difficult Geneva II would be, but said, “we’ll do everything possible to help it succeed.”