Long – Case not made at this time for military intervention in Syria

Alliance East Belfast MP Naomi Long has said that the Government has failed to make a case for UK military intervention in Syria and that the focus now must intensify on diplomatic pressure and the UN route to resolve the situation. She also believes that focus on humanitarian support for refugees is crucial to maintaining stability in the region. She voted against the motions from the Government and the Opposition.

Naomi Long MP said: “Parliament has spoken. It has not given a backing to the military intervention that David Cameron had been seeking at this time.

“We all share revulsion at the horrific and sickening scenes that are taking in place in Syria. The use of chemical weapons against a civilian population is deeply disturbing and must not be allowed to continue; however, our natural impulse to do something in the face of this crisis must not propel us into doing the wrong thing in the wrong way and potentially making things worse, not only in Syria but in the wider region.

“I am not opposed to military intervention in all circumstances; however, I remain unconvinced that the case exists for such intervention at this time.

“There appear to be two conflicting objectives in what was set out by the Prime Minister by calling for military intervention. On one hand, he has made it clear that the intervention for which he sought support would be exclusively related to policing the use of chemical weapons; however, on the other hand the legal justification set before Parliament was on the basis of a humanitarian intervention. The conditions for such an intervention could theoretically have been met in Syria at any time over the last two years as the regime has slaughtered its own people with conventional weapons and, even if the targeted action on chemical weapons were entirely successful, it would still exist in their absence. How then could we end our intervention in such circumstances? We would be allowing the UK to become embroiled on one side of a bloody civil war, from which it would be hard to disengage or avoid being drawn further in.

“The United Nations must complete their report on the use of chemical weapons, and then the international community, including the Arab nations, Russia and China, along with the UK, France and America, need to redouble diplomatic efforts to find an agreed way forward which will address the genuine concern for the Syrian people at this time.”


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