A British official said yesterday that the British Government does not support a workshop organised by the British Syrian Society about “the current situation in Syria”. The official added that the workshop that is currently being held in Damascus does not represent the British government’s views. This renunciation came at a time when the Syrian regime’s media is trying to conceal the workshops’ course of events. The workshop aims to whitewash the regime’s image in the west.
In a statement that he made yesterday, the UK Special Representative for Syria Gareth Bayley said: “We strongly advise people not to participate in events of this kind for security reasons due to the grave situation in Syria and because the event risks being manipulated for the purpose of the Syrian regime’s propaganda”. Bayley continued by saying that “The British-Syrian Society Conference is held at a location not far from Assad’s prisons, where many political prisoners are detained.”
Although the workshop organised by the British Syrian Society in Damascus aims to whitewash the image of Assad’s regime internationally, it was held in Damascus, away from the media and shrouded in extreme secrecy. Syrian state media in Damascus did not mention any details of the workshop and the private Syrian newspaper Al-Watan published a brief news story about the beginning of the workshop on Sunday in which it cited the British newspaper the Guardian.