Sir Hugh Robertson questions the Foreign Secretary about progress in the Syrian peace talks and in particular about the future of President Assad and the option of building up an alternative Government in Syria capable of taking on IS.
Sir Hugh Robertson (Faversham and Mid Kent) (Con): Is the Foreign Secretary able to update the House on any progress in the Syrian peace talks and in particular, if it remains the Government’s ambition to remove President Assad, what progress we have made in building up an alternative Government capable of taking on IS?
Mr Philip Hammond: I have to tell my right hon. Friend candidly that the co-ordination between the civilian Syrian opposition and the moderate armed opposition is still disappointing. It is one of the areas on which we and our allies are working. We are committed to taking part in the programme of training and equipping members of the moderate Syrian opposition outside Syria, and that programme is beginning to gather pace now.