Syria: Religious Freedom:Written question - 38254

Asked by Jim Shannon
Asked on: 24 May 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Syria: Religious Freedom
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to promote pluralism and religious freedom in Syria.
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 01 June 2016

United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254, which we supported, urges all parties to the UN-facilitated political process to adhere to the principle identified by the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) to protect the rights of all Syrians, regardless of ethnicity or religious denomination. Through our membership of the ISSG we will focus all our efforts on ensuring that Syrian minorities are included and safeguarded as the political process progresses. In our contact with members of the Syrian opposition who have signed up to the Geneva Communiqué, we have maintained a strong line on our commitment to pluralism, and the need to ensure that Freedom of Religion or Belief is enshrined as a constitutional right. A proportion of the High Negotiations Council, including members of the negotiating team, are drawn from religious minority groups in Syria’s richly diverse population. We are also supporting non-governmental efforts to promote dialogue between different ethnic and sectarian groups and education on tolerance, integration and pluralism.

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