Batley & Spen MP Jo Cox has cautiously welcomed Russia’s announcement that it plans a substantial withdrawal of its armed forces from Syria,
Yesterday’s announcement was also welcomed by the UN’s Special Envoy ahead of fresh peace talks in Geneva.
Mrs Cox, who has been praised by MPs on all sides of the House of Commons for her work on highlighting the plight of Syrian civilians, said:
“Russia appears for the first time to be using its influence over the Syrian regime.
“Russia now has a choice – to use its influence for good to help get to a just and lasting negotiated solution; or continue to prolong the suffering of the Syrian people. It is time for Russia to make the right choice.”
Numerous sources claim Russia breached the ceasefire that was put in place last month with indiscriminate air strikes that resulted in the deaths of countless civilians. She raised these concerns in an urgent question in Parliament two weeks ago.
Russia had been responsible for more than half of all civilian deaths caused by foreign air strikes.
Mrs Cox also spoke during a debate today following a further Urgent Question from Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn MP on the Russian announcement in Parliament.
She asked the Foreign Secretary if now was the time to look again at a NATO-backed bombing zone to protect civilians.
You can watch Mrs Cox’s questions to the Foreign Secretary, and his answer, here.
Jo Cox was granted an Urgent Question in Parliament yesterday, forcing the Foreign Office to send a minister to the Commons to answer a series of questions from the Batley & Spen MP.
The Speaker granted Mrs Cox’s application to urgently raise questions about reported breaches of the new ceasefire in Syria’s civil war.
Mrs Cox was praised by MPs on all sides of the House of Commons for championing this issue and continuing to raise the plight of Syrians in Parliament and press for their protection.
You can hear Mrs Cox’s series of questions and the minister’s answers by clicking here.
Jo Cox in the Commons asking her Urgent Question
Jo Cox has followed up her emergency Parliamentary debate on the besieged Syrian town of Madaya with a letter to the International Development Secretary Justine Greening.
The Speaker of the House of Commons granted Mrs Cox an Urgent Question last week. This meant Ms Greening had to come to the House and answer questions from Mrs Cox and other MPs on the situation on Madaya.
The letter is a follow up to Ms Greening’s statement and answers to the House. It is also part of Mrs Cox’s continued efforts to protect civilians in Syria and make sure Britain is doing all it can to ensure starvation is not being used as a weapon of war.
You can read the full letter to Justine Greening here.
Jo Cox raising an Urgent Question with the International Development Secretary
A piece in today’s Telegraph includes comments from Jo Cox MP, talking about the need to protect civilians in Syria in light of a letter from the United Nations’ head of humanitarian affairs to the British Government saying all options should be on the table to help the starving, as one million Syrians are besieged.
You can read the article here.
A new foreign policy pamphlet was launched in Parliament last night, featuring an essay from Batley & Spen MP Jo Cox.
The Fabian Society has produced the pamphlet entitled Outward to the World which seeks to set out a forward looking vision of Britain’s role in the world for the left.
With a foreward by shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn Outward to the World maps out a practical but progressive foreign policy from first principles, developing the building blocks of a practical idealism: a new account of globalisation, a reinvention of the European security order, a political vision for de-escalation in the Middle East, a different account of what multilateralism means in the world.
Mrs Cox, who spoke at the launch event, wrote a piece about the need for Labour to re-connect with its proud interventionist past and define a new, progressive interventionism.
You can read the pamphlet here.