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Hague tells conference: Britain has made progress on Syrian solution
5:53pm Sunday 29th September 2013 in News
BRITAIN has “made progress” on finding a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis, Foreign Secretary William Hague told the conference.
The Richmond MP delivered an upbeat message after leading the Government’s delegation in intense negotiations at the United Nations.
But – struggling with a heavy cold – Mr Hague was also dragged into pressure for the Conservatives to strike an electoral pact with the UK Independence Party (Ukip).
Some high-profile Tories have pushed for an alliance with Nigel Farage's Eurosceptics, to avoid splitting the right-wing vote at the 2015 general election.
But, speaking on the BBC, Mr Hague said: “I do rule that out.
“We don't make electoral pacts with other parties. We do make pacts with the voters of other parties, and win over the voters of other parties, as we've often done through history.
“And, of course, if someone is contemplating voting Ukip who would otherwise vote Conservative they could, by default, produce a Labour government - which is the absolute opposite of what they might want on Europe for instance.”
In his main conference speech, Mr Hague told the Tory faithful: “In New York this week, we have been seeking a peaceful solution to some of the world’s most intractable problems.
“The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the nuclear programme of Iran and the tragic bloodshed in Syria - and on each we have made progress.
“We have stepped up the pressure on Assad and his regime and given new help to save the lives of innocent victims of their oppression.
“On Friday night at the UN Security Council, I cast Britain’s vote for a resolution requiring the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons.
“Working with the Foreign Ministers of the other permanent members of the Security Council, we agreed to convene a peace conference by mid-November.
“Millions of bereaved and displaced people deserve every effort by the leading countries of the world to bring this tragic conflict to an end.”
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