Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the meeting of the Minister for the Middle East Mr Alistair Burt with the White Helmets group

Question: During his visit to Turkey the Minister for the Middle East Mr Alistair Burt met with the infamous White Helmets group, whom the Russian Federation considers terrorist supporters. How would you comment on that?

Answer: It is up to HMG of course to decide which contacts to develop and whom senior diplomats should meet. Nevertheless, this choice is a truly remarkable one. White Helmets are proven by evidence from various sources to be affiliated with terrorists and have been caught staging fake reports on numerous occasions, including a staged “chemical attack in Idlib”. Their activity has little to do with charitable purposes. It is telling that they chose to limit their work exclusively to extremist-held areas and have fled all liberated territories where genuine humanitarian efforts are much needed. It is only to be regretted that this group of provocateurs subsist on generous donations by Western governments, including the UK.