This Monday, the United States Secretary of State John Kerry met with the United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. The meeting took place in London and the two discussed the situation in Syria. As the heavy bombing of Aleppo continues, the two statesmen are trying to find a solution to the Syrian conflict. Secretary of State John Kerry has in the past expressed that he is looking to work on a peaceful solution regarding the conflict in Syria. So the two key international players are putting their combined efforts together behind an attempt to bring peace to the war-torn region.
The United States Tries to Put International Pressure On
The United States is looking at using diplomatic strategy to force a change in the situation in Syria. The US believes that there must be an end to what is happening in Aleppo. US Secretary of State John Kerry described the situation as “the largest of humanitarian disasters”. Also, he talked about Russia’s involvement in the conflict and where the United States stands with regard to that. John Kerry stressed that the conflict in Syria must end with “a political solution” and that Russia must see that.
The US side and the UK side discussed ways of moving forward regarding Syria. The two sides jointly expressed the very real possibility of economic sanctions. As a way to react to the continued bombing of Aleppo, the two countries are prepared to use new economic sanctions against the Syrian and the Russian government.
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson supported John Kerry’s statements. He chose the words “crimes against humanity” to talk about what is happening in Aleppo every day. It is not the first time that an international actor uses such language to talk about the conflict in Syria. Recently, France has said that the actions of the Syrian and Russian forces should be investigated by the International Criminal Court as war crimes. The French Foreign Minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, urged for the prosecutor of the ICC to open an investigation into the bombing of Aleppo.
The UK Foreign Secretary Urges Russia to Reconsider
Boris Johnson used the opportunity to send a public message to Russia. The Foreign Minister is hoping that Russia would reconsider the course of action that the country finds itself committed to. He appealed to Russia to “do the right thing by humanity and the people of Syria”.
Boris Johnson sees a need for an immediate ceasefire in Aleppo. He would like to see Russia back at the negotiation table in Geneva, working on another ceasefire deal. The UK together with the United States are committed to keeping the pressure up to bring Russia to the table. Johnson said that they are considering more sanctions for the Syrian regime and for those who support it.
The UK Foreign Secretary also talked about the repercussions of actions taken in Syria. The Syrian and Russian forces have bombed half the city of Aleppo in an effort to take it back from the rebels. The airstrikes have hit civilian targets such as hospitals. Also, the civilian population in that part of the city has suffered greatly from the attacks and is in desperate need of humanitarian relief.
“These things will eventually come to bite the perpetrators of these crimes and they should think about it now.”
Said UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.
Image source: U.S. Department of State