No military action against Syria, says David Cameron
Thursday 26 January 2012
David Cameron expressed hope today that Syrian president Bashar al-Assad would leave office this year.
But, in an interview with American news network CNN, the Prime Minister admitted he did not know whether that would happen.
Asked whether he expected President Assad to be gone by Christmas, he said: "I would certainly hope so, but I'm not going to make a forecast."
Mr Cameron, interviewed in the Swiss ski resort of Davos where he is attending the World Economic Forum, said the international community should be "tightening the ratchet" on the Assad regime in any way it could.
But he said no one was talking about military intervention.
"This is not the same as Libya and we shouldn't pretend that it is," he said.
"I think what we should be doing is tightening the ratchet in all the ways we can, building up and working with the Syrian opposition - yes, of course, working with the Arab League, yes of course, but I don't think anyone's talking about military action."
British diplomats are pushing the UN Security Council to back the Arab League's call for President Assad, whose regime faces international condemnation for repression and violence, to step aside.
The Security Council could vote as early as next week on a new draft resolution being drawn up by Britain and France with input from Qatar, Morocco, the United States, Germany and Portugal.
But it is unclear whether Russia - which, together with China, vetoed a European-drafted resolution in October that condemned Syria and threatened it with sanctions over its 10-month crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators - is planning to block the latest initiative.
Foreign Office Minister Alastair Burt criticised the killing of a leading Red Crescent doctor in Syria and called for a halt to ambulances and medical services being targeted.
"I was deeply shocked by reports that Dr Abdel Razzaq Jbeiro, Secretary-General of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and president of its Idlib branch, was shot and killed yesterday while travelling in a clearly marked vehicle," he said.
"Our thoughts are with his family, colleagues and friends at this time.
"His death is part of an unacceptable trend of ambulances and medical services being targeted in Syria.
"It is absolutely crucial that everyone respects the right of Red Crescent and Red Cross staff to carry out their duties without fear of attack and in accordance with international humanitarian principles."
- 1 Scarlett Johansson new band 'already hit with legal complaint' from another The Singles
- 2 Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
- 3 What color is The Dress, white and gold or blue and black? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
- 4 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
- 5 'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
Mohammed Emwazi: Nine things we know about Isis militant 'Jihadi John'
What color is The Dress, white and gold or blue and black? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
'Jihadi John': Mohammed Emwazi – from British computer programmer to Isis executioner
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Oscars 2015: Birdman beats Boyhood as Eddie Redmayne and Patricia Arquette win big - as it happened
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
Aqsa Mahmood branded a 'disgrace' by her parents after claims she recruited three UK girls flying to Middle East
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...
£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: SQL Server Reporting Analyst (Busine...
£50000 - £65000 per annum + bonus and benefits: Ashdown Group: Dynamics Expert...
£38000 - £48000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Senior ...