Lords, including former senior diplomats and foreign affairs specialists, debated developments in Syria and the Middle East on Thursday 27 February.
Lords discussed the current situation in the Middle East, principally Syria. They highlighted the effect of the Syrian conflict on the civilian population in the country, stating that around 5,000 Syrians are dying each month, 2.4 million people have been forced from their homes and 250,000 are trapped under siege. They also spoke about how the conflict and refugee crisis has affected Jordan and Lebanon.
Peers spoke about the UN Security Council’s ‘Resolution 2139’, which demands an immediate end to the violence in Syria, the freeing of besieged areas and the unimpeded delivery of humanitarian aid to the whole of Syria, but cautioned that the resolution would have to be implemented in full to have an effect. A number of Lords asked the government how it planned to support the humanitarian effort in Syria.
More broadly, the situation in Iran was discussed, including the progress made in negotiations around the Iranian nuclear programme. Lords also looked at the importance of the Middle East peace process to Israeli and Palestinian civilians, and the challenges faced by Egypt and Libya.