President Assad has no place in the future of Syria, David Cameron insists

The PM dismissed suggestions the country's president could stay

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during an interview to the Iranian Khabar TV channel
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during an interview to the Iranian Khabar TV channel

Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has no future in a post-civil war Syria, David Cameron has said.

The Prime Minister dismissed suggestions that the UK was warming to the Syrian president, who is engaged in a fight against Isis and other militants.

“He can have no part in the future of Syria. I’m very clear: we haven’t even started discussions – we need to start discussions about how you bring a transition about,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Tuesday.

“It’s not just my view that you can’t end up with Assad having a role in Syria: the Syrian people wouldn’t accept it.

“What you need to do is find a government that can appeal to Alawites, Kurds, Sunnis and Christians and if you don’t have someone who can do that you won’t have a Syria that works.”

The PM refused to say how long Mr Assad should stay in power as part of a transition however.

David Cameron arrives at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond hinted earlier this week that Mr Assad could stay in power for months to end the conflict in the region, in which hundreds of thousands have been killed and millions displaced.

"If the price for doing that is that we have to accept that Assad will remain as titular head of state for period of time, do I really care if that's three days, three weeks, three months or even longer? I don't think I do,” he said at Conservative party conference in Manchester.

In the last parliament the British government had wanted to launch bombing strikes against the Assad’s regime. The UK however now wants to bomb Isis, who the Assad regime is fighting.

The situation has been complicated in recent weeks after Russian military jets began intervention in Syria against militant groups, effectively on the side of the Assad regime.

Russia says it is bombing Isis, but US government sources say Syrian rebels trained by American intelligence agencies are also being targeted.

The Syrian civil war started in 2011 in the context of the Arab Spring protests but has since spun out of control into a fully-fledged armed conflict.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in