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Middle East: Responsibility to Protect

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL7867, tabled on 25 April 2016

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will apply the principles of the Responsibility to Protect to the situation in Iraq and Syria.

Answered on

4 May 2016

The Responsibility to Protect (R2P) imposes an obligation on all states to protect their populations, and for the international community to assist. The Asad regime has consistently ignored this obligation, using extreme violence against its own people and preventing access to humanitarian aid. The British Government is also appalled at the brutality of Daesh abuses against all communities. In line with R2P, we continue to call on all sides to the conflict to respect International Humanitarian Law and we are working with the international community to find ways of providing justice to those who have suffered. Ultimately, the only way of safeguarding people is by defeating Daesh and establishing a lasting peace in both Syria and Iraq.

The UK is working through the International Syria Support Group to support and facilitate UN brokered intra-Syrian negotiations to end the conflict through political transition to a government that represents and protects its people, and are a leading member of the Global Coalition against Daesh. Our counter-Daesh strategy is working. Daesh have lost about 40 per cent of the territory it once held in Iraq - and significant territory in Syria. Thousands of people have been freed from Daesh’s abusive rule and have been able to return safely to their homes.