The new British envoy to Syria, Jonathan Hargreaves, said Monday that there is no military solution to the Syrian crisis, stressing continued support to the "UN-facilitated political process towards sustainable peace, stability, and security for Syria and the Syrian people."
“Today I begin work as the UK Special Representative for Syria. After 3 years as Development Director overseeing our £3.3bn response to the crisis, I’ve seen first-hand that this conflict is above all a human tragedy, devastating for so many Syrians,” Hargreaves wrote on his Twitter account.
Noting that the tenth anniversary of the start of the peaceful protests in Syria is approaching, he said: “The human cost continues to accelerate. As winter arrives, food and fuel are more scarce and more costly. The UNOCHA says 13 billion people are now in humanitarian need. That’s 2 million more than a year ago.”
The British envoy noted he was proud the UK remains at the forefront of humanitarian response, focusing on people who need it most wherever they are.
“We remain dedicated to helping Syrian refugees in Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon, and their host communities. It’s not yet safe for refugees to return to Syria,” he said.
Hargreaves described the Syrian crisis as a man-made disaster.
“It can only end through political not military means,” the envoy said, adding that he would continue to work with UN envoy Geir Pedersen and the UN-facilitated political process towards sustainable peace, stability, and security for Syria and the Syrian people.
He said the appalling violations of international humanitarian and human rights laws in Syria must stop. “The UK will do all it can to hold Assad’s regime and its supporters to account for atrocities committed against the Syrian people,” he wrote.
Hargreaves predecessor, Martin Longden, had written at the conclusion of his assignments that Syria now stands on the edge of a precipice.
He warned of a great political malaise that would sweep through, adding that the refusal of the Assad regime to engage seriously in a process of political reform, as demanded by the UN Security Council, whilst continuing its oppressive and counter-productive behaviors, has not just prolonged the misery for so many, but has wasted precious time.