Jeremy Corbyn calls for political solution in Syria

Jeremy Corbyn Protest

The Labour party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has called for a political settlement to end Syria’s bitter five-year conflict that has fuelled the rise of Islamic State.

Corbyn said negotiations would be difficult but welcomed progress at recent talks in Vienna aimed at finding consensus between the west and Russia about how to bring about peace and defeat IIsis.

The biggest stumbling block is that Russia is opposed to the removal of the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, who is accused of using chemical weapons on his own people as his forces battle rebel groups as well as Isis.

Corbyn told ITV’s Lorraine: “I am not saying sit round the table with Isis, I am saying bring about a political settlement in Syria which will help then to bring some kind of unity government – technical government – in Syria,” he said.

Asked whether the latest bombing of Isis in Syria by France would make any difference, he replied “probably not”.

At the same time, the Labour leader said questions should be asked of Saudi Arabia about who is funding and arming Isis.

He also criticised the lack of media focus on the bombings in Beirut that killed at least 40 people the day before 129 people died in the Paris attacks. “Our media needs to be able to report things that happen outside Europe as well as inside Europe. A life is a life,” he said.

Labour is opposed to extending UK airstrikes against Isis into Syria from Iraq but could support a wider strategic action plan as long as it is backed by the international community.

David Cameron hopes for international deal to attack Isis in Syria – audio

David Cameron is facing calls to renew efforts to get proposals through the House of Commons in the wake of the Paris attacks, but he does not have enough backing at the moment because of opposition from Labour and some Conservative backbench MPs.

Cameron also talked about the necessity of a political settlement in Syria on Monday as he attended the G20 summit, suggesting it was a prerequisite for fighting [Isis].

“Of course you can’t really deal with so called Islamic State unless you get a political settlement in Syria which allows you then to permanently degrade and destroy that organisation,” he said.

Powered by article was written by Rowena Mason Political correspondent, for on Monday 16th November 2015 11.30 Europe/ © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010