Foreign Secretary meets leader of the Syrian White Helmets

2 Nov 2018 01:04 PM

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has welcomed Raed al-Saleh, the leader of the Syrian Civil Defence (White Helmets), to the Foreign Office yesterday to discuss the vital work the group has done in Syria.

In July this year the Foreign Secretary coordinated an international effort to rescue dozens of members of the volunteer rescue service and their families from Southern Syria. This effort was in light of the threat to their lives from the Syrian regime.

The UK has since given a number of the rescue workers and their families a safe haven in communities across the country, as part of the Home Office’s Vulnerable Persons Resettlement scheme.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt yesterday said:

Few people have to make the kind of moral choices that faced White Helmet Raed al-Saleh, who I was privileged to meet today. The White Helmets risked life and limb to save over 115,000 lives during the Syrian conflict, despite attacks at the hands of the Syrian regime and the Russian military. The UK is proud to stand behind them.

Mr Raed al Saleh expressed his gratitude to the people and Government of the UK for their support to the 3,000 men and women of the White Helmets over the past 6 years, which he said, “has enabled our volunteers to provide essential life-saving support to more than 115,000 persons and services to more than 4 million Syrian civilians who live under daily risk of violence in Syria.”

View the previous joint statement on the resettlement of the White Helmets.

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