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Envoy: UK does not intend to restore ties with Syria’s Assad

July 28, 2023 at 12:16 pm

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in Damascus [JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images]

The British Special Representative for Syria, Ann Snow, said the British government does not intend to restore ties with the regime of President Bashar Al- Assad.

However, Snow said in press statements that “any contact between Arab countries and the government of Bashar Al-Assad must be accompanied by conditions and fundamental changes.”

“Dialogue with Assad without any tangible change, or without real accountability for the crimes he committed against the Syrians, will not help the Syrian people, the region, or the world,” she said.

She pointed out that Britain also does not intend to provide any aid for reconstruction, until “Assad takes serious steps to change his behaviour, or seriously engage in the United Nations political process.”

Snow considered implementing a step-by-step approach is “difficult”, because the problem lies in the intransigence of Al-Assad and Russia, adding that “this is a major reason for the lack of any progress in the political process.”

“All the Syrians I have met want to see one unified Syria, but unfortunately the future of Syria remains unclear when we see the Assad regime’s failure to abide by its commitments towards its people,” she added.

The United Nations estimated last year that more than 306,000 civilians have been killed – about 1.5 per cent of the population – since March 2011, when Syria’s revolution erupted.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) estimates the total death toll to be about 610,000.

READ: UK has ‘special position’ on normalising ties with Syria’s Assad