FOREIGN AFFAIRS – SYRIA – 7 November 2017
Dr Julian Lewis: May I appeal to the Foreign Secretary, even at this late stage, to adopt a more realistic policy on the outcome in Syria? It was always the case that if Daesh was going to lose, the Iraqi Government were going to win in their territory and the Syrian Government were going to win in their territory. We have not seen any sign of a third force of 70,000 moderate fighters. Will he accept the fact that, unpleasant though it is, it is better to recognise that the regime is going to persevere in Syria? That is a price that we have to pay for the elimination of Daesh.
[The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Boris Johnson): My right hon. Friend speaks on this matter with great wisdom. We must accept that the Assad regime does now possess itself of most of what we might call operational Syria. That is a reality, but it has not won. It does not possess all of Syria. If it wants the country to be rebuilt, it knows that that can be done only with the support of us in the UK and those in the European Union and the United States. That is the leverage that we hold, and that is how we hope to get the Assad regime and the Russians to engage in a proper political process.]