Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question on the prospects of the UK involvement in humanitarian assistance to Syria
Q: How do you assess the prospects of the UK involvement in humanitarian efforts to help the Syrian people?
A: Our contacts at the FCO clearly show that the UK government, unfortunately, is not ready to change its position and join the international efforts aimed at providing assistance for the people of Syria. We do not see any practical steps by the official London in this direction, although, in our opinion, now is just the right time to act. However, British authorities do not go beyond expressing concerns over the Syrian population’s sufferings.
We also believe there is urgent need to lift the EU sanctions against Syria. They are a hard burden on all Syrians, preventing them from getting out of the economic crisis and focusing on rebuilding their lives.
In the meantime the Syrian government has started restoring infrastructure in the provinces of Aleppo, Damascus and Hama. Russian humanitarian aid is delivered on regular basis, with the total amount already close to 3000 tons. In July the joint Russia-France initiative for providing relief to the population in Eastern Ghouta was successfully implemented.
Syrian refugees continue to return to their homeland. More than 236.000 of them have been repatriated since the end of September 2015 (including 6700 that came from Lebanon in the course of last month only). 1.7 million Syrians have already expressed their will to return from 9 countries (Lebanon, Turkey, Germany, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Denmark, Brazil, Austria).
We call on the British government to finally replace its theoretical speculations by concrete actions and join international efforts aimed at reconstructing Syria. This would be the best testimony to the commitment of the UK to help Syrian people bring their lives back to normal.