MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Thursday, UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson suggested, speaking to the Lords International Relations Committee, that Britain might "have to think afresh" about its stance on Assad and be "open-minded" about the terms and timescale for his resignation. The statement triggered media reports on the United Kingdom's shift in Syria policy.
"It is the UK’s long-standing position that there can be no sustainable peace in Syria while Assad remains in power. He is responsible for the majority of the deaths of his own citizens," the Foreign Office spokesperson told Sputnik, asked on the policy change.
The United Kingdom has been one of the fiercest critics of the Russian policy in Syria in Europe. However, change in the administration in the United States, Britain’s closest ally on the international stage, may entail the United Kingdom's shift on a number of aspects in its foreign policy.
The two leaders are expected to address the Syria issue, trade and economic relations.
Since 2011, Syria has been engulfed in a civil war, with government forces fighting against numerous opposition and terrorist groups, including al-Nusra Front and Daesh, banned in a range of countries, including Russia.