International community should unite against Syria, says minister
A Foreign Office minister called for the international community to unite to take further action against Syria following the “revolting” massacre at Houla.
Lord Howell of Guildford called for members of the United Nations Security Council to agree on new measures in an effort to increase pressure on President Bashar Assad's regime.
But he said the key to achieving a Security Council resolution was securing the support of the Chinese and Russians.
Foreign Secretary William Hague was in Moscow for talks with his counterpart Sergei Lavrov today.
Responding to an urgent question, Lord Howell told peers there had been a change in the Russian position, but it was unclear whether Moscow would back a fresh UN resolution.
"It's perfectly true that Russia has joined, as all civilised responsible nations must to, in condemnation of these revolting events," he said.
"But then the question comes beyond that as to whether the UN Security Council is prepared in a united way to take further actions."
This could include referral to the International Criminal Court or tougher sanctions, but Lord Howell noted, "that requires the support of the Russians and the Chinese in the UN Security Council".
He added: "The key is to get agreement in the UN Security Council and the key to that is what (Mr Hague) is working on at the moment."
Lord Howell said: "We are outraged by the appalling events in al-Houla and have condemned these in the strongest possible terms."
He stressed the importance of the peace plan brokered by former UN secretary general Kofi Annan.
"We are working with international partners to make the Annan plan work," he said.
"It aims to bring an end to the violence and drive forward the political process in Syria."
Shadow Lords leader Baroness Royall said: "The massacre was appalling, it's deplorable and it's difficult to find words to express the revulsion when vast numbers of innocent people including 49 children and 39 women were slaughtered."
UN condemnation alone was "not enough", she said and asked what the Government's assessment of future action was following Russia's "clear change of position".
The battle for control of Stieg Larsson's £30m legacy
Look beyond the usual shows for the best festive telly
Michelle Nijhuis' daughter insists (s)he is, and she learnt a valuable lesson on gender in books
newsFormer soldier taped 33 of the animals to the floor and then stamped on them one by one
Robin Thicke named sexist of the year 2013
PAs cleared of fraud - and Nigella Lawson left reeling at 'ridiculous sideshow' of drug allegations
Cycle death inquest: Boyfriend hugs driver of 32 tonne tipper truck that killed his girlfriend
Paul Walker death caused by speed alone
Apollo Theatre collapse: Scores injured after ceiling collapses in London's West End
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
Tom Daley ‘is gay because his father died’ says UK evangelist
Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
Anachronistic and iniquitous, grammar schools are a blot on the British education system
- 1 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 2 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber is 'retiring from music'
- 3 Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
- 4 Cycle death inquest: Boyfriend hugs driver of 32 tonne tipper truck that killed his girlfriend
- 5 Burglar steals video tapes of child abuse, hands them into police
- < Previous
- Next >
£40000 - £55000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: This Big 4 giant is seeking ...
£35000 - £50000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: Do you have personal tax exp...
£22000 - £37000 per annum: Capita Education Resourcing Permanent Team: This se...
£27000 - £30000 per annum: Capita Education Resourcing Permanent Team: Capita ...