Boris Johnson signals shift in UK policy on Syria’s Assad

The UK accepts that Bashar al-Assad should be allowed to run for re-election in the event of a peace settlement in Syria, Boris Johnson has said, in a dramatic reversal of the British policy stretching back to the early days of the civil war that the president must go.

Speaking on the eve of Theresa May’s meeting with Donald Trump in Washington, the UK’s foreign secretary acknowledged that the inauguration of the new US president meant all sides needed to rethink their approach to Syria.

“It is our view that Bashar al-Assad should go, it’s been our longstanding position. But we are open-minded about how that happens and the timescale on which that happens,” Johnson told the Lords international relations select committee.

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