14:20 GMT +308 December 2019
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    Syrians walk past a portrait of President Bashar al-Assad in the capital Damascus on March 15, 2016

    UK Continues to Insist No Peace in Syria Possible While Assad in Power

    © AFP 2019 / LOUAI BESHARA
    Middle East
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    The United Kingdom continues to adhere to its previous stance on Syria, insisting that peace in the country cannot be established while President Bashar Assad remains in power, a spokesperson for the UK Foreign Office told Sputnik on Friday.

    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.

    UK Prime Minister Theresa May is visiting Washington on Friday to meet with US President Donald Trump, thus becoming the first foreign leader to be welcomed in the White House.

    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.


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