Mike questions Hague on Syria

Mike questioned the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, following the Government's announcement that it recognises a coalition of Syrian rebel forces as the "sole legitimate representative" of the Syrian people.

Mike's question and the Foreign Secretary's response were as follows:

Mike Gapes

It is welcome that the British Government followed France in recognising the Syrian national coalition, but merely saying that it is the sole legitimate representative does not make it so. What action is being taken to deal with the problem that has already arisen in Aleppo, where groups have rejected the coalition’s leadership, and to secure international recognition for it as well as its effectiveness in Syria?

William Hague

I think that there will be further international recognition for the coalition—I think that, for example, other EU countries will recognise it, in stages—and that growing international recognition will in turn lead to an increase in practical support. I have announced several areas in which we would increase our own practical support and channel it through the coalition, and if other countries do the same, that will steadily add to their credibility inside and outside Syria. Obviously we cannot control or dictate the reactions of all groups in Syria, but from all that we understand, the coalition has received a warm welcome from many people there. I do not think that we shall see a better attempt to create an umbrella opposition group, and I think that we should therefore get behind this one.

The exchange can be seen on this video from the BBC's Democracy Live website - Mike's question is 47minutes and 44 seconds into the video.

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