Prime Minister Boris Johnson has broken his silence following the killing of Major General Qassem Soleimani in a US airstrike – saying “we will not lament his death” stating that he was responsible for thousands of death in the Middle East.
Following his return from a holiday in the Caribbean, the UK’s prime minister confirmed he has spoken with France’s Emmanuel Macron, Germany’s Angela Merkel, and US President Donald Trump.
In a statement, Mr Johnson said: “General Qassem Soleimani posed a threat to all our interests and was responsible for a pattern of disruptive, destabilising behaviour in the region.
‘Given the leading role he has played in actions that have led to the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians and western personnel, we will not lament his death.
‘It is clear however that all calls for retaliation or reprisals will simply lead to more violence in the region and they are in no one’s interest.
‘We are in close contact with all sides to encourage de-escalation. I will be speaking to other leaders and our Iraqi friends to support peace and stability.
‘The Foreign Secretary has been in constant contact with leaders and foreign ministers from across the globe and we have taken steps to increase the security of our personnel and interests in the region.
‘Following further international engagement and ministerial meetings here in the UK, Parliament will be updated on Tuesday.’
United States President Donald Trump has defended ordering the killing of Maj Gen Soleimani, tweeting: “They attacked us, & we hit back. If they attack again, which I would strongly advise them not to do, we will hit them harder than they have ever been hit before!”
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