Syria Conflict January 2017

Thank you for contacting me recently regarding the conflict in Syria.

The situation in Syria remains deeply concerning as millions of people continue to suffer in need of humanitarian assistance, and I condemn the pro-Assad forces and Russia for their actions in besieged eastern Aleppo last year.

The UN recently said that nearly five million people live in areas difficult to reach with humanitarian assistance due to fighting, insecurity and restricted access, and has appealed for immediate, unconditional and safe access for the delivery of humanitarian aid.

While I believe we need an urgent and concerted effort to provide for the opening of safe channels for the delivery of humanitarian aid there can also be no rest in efforts to find a long term solution to the violence in Syria. It is clear that this can only be achieved through a political settlement. 

Peace talks are expected to take place in Astana, Kazakhstan, this month and I hope that these can contribute to a UN-led process for negotiating a political settlement. Our Government here in the UK must meanwhile continue to be fully engaged in discussions on how to bring this conflict to an end, and I can assure you that I will continue to follow developments closely. 

Thank you once again for taking the trouble to make me aware of your views on this important issue.

You can read my further thoughts about why we should not have launched air strikes on Syria in an article I wrote for the Mirror here.