UK Interested in Joint Work with Russia on Syria

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Rest of World
Monday, 13 February 2017

The United Kingdom is interested in the joint work with Russia in Syria despite differences on how to meet common interests, UK Special Representative for Syria Gareth Bayley told Sputnik.

"We have good and constant contact with Russia in three obvious ways: in the Security Council in New York, in the UN in Geneva, and directly, bilaterally. We have a fundamental interest in working together, and we have shared interests in Syria," Bayley said in an interview published Monday.

The shared interests include reaching a lasting peace in Syria, battling radicalization and managing migration, he explained.

"But where we differ is how we meet these interests, how we secure these interests," Bayley noted.

He argued that "there are many elements" of Russian and Syrian activities cause concern for the UK, but clarified that "the more general point about cooperation on the crisis is extremely important."

Any military communication between London and Moscow, however, "would have to be considered through existing coalition mechanisms," the UK diplomat stated.

The United Kingdom does not yet plan to conduct a ground mission in Syria yet, a decision that would depend on course of the US-led campaign there, UK Special Representative for Syria said.

"We've been conducting air operations since December 2015 within Syria. We would have no plans to put British forces on the ground in these operations," Bayley said.

Bayley said in an interview published Monday that the UK's expanded role "depends on the counter-Daesh campaign," referring to the US-led 68-country operation against the outlawed Daesh jihadist group.

"It's a decision not yet taken. We will see in the next months how the campaign proceeds," he stressed.

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