The foreign secretary said penalising “Escape” was “not in the interests of our friends and our partners”. PM Theresa May set out her Brexit strategy, including leaving the EU single market, in a speech on Tuesday. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker promised to work for “good results” from Brexit talks.
Syria’s antiquities chief said the tetrapylon a group of four pillared structures which were mainly modern replicas have also been ruined. The jihadists recaptured the Unesco Listed archaeological site in December from government troops. IS destroyed other monuments after it first seized
Palmyra in May 2015.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said: “The be-all and end-all is that Europe does not let itself be divided, and we will ensure that with very intensive contacts.” EU governments would consult their business sectors, she added, and she was “not worried that we will not stick together”.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has announced it will give its verdict next Tuesday on the government’s legal battle over whether MPs must be consulted before Brexit is triggered. And HSBC announced it was preparing to move 1,000 staff from London to Paris when the UK leaves the EU.
With just over two months to go before the UK government is due to get Brexit talks under way, Mr Johnson was asked on a trip to India about comments by an aide to
French President Francois Hollande, who said the UK should not expect a better trading relationship with the EU after leaving it.
He replied: “If Monsieur Hollande wants to administer punishment beatings to anybody who chooses to escape, rather in the manner of some World War Two movie, then I don’t think that is the way forward. The spokeswoman said the remarks were ” all being hyped up” and that the foreign secretary had used a “theatrical comparison”, adding: “There is not a government policy of not talking about the War.”
It was forced out by a Russian backed government offensive in March 2016, but regained control while progovernment forces where focused on battling for the city of Aleppo late last year. Maamoun Abdulkarim told the Associated Press that reports of the destruction first trickled out of Palmyra late in December, and then satellite images which became available late on Thursday confirmed the destruction.
The US based American Schools of Oriental Research posted images on which appear to show the towering portico at the back of the amphitheatre stage badly damaged. It said only two of the tetrapylon’s columns remain, and the monument appeared to have been intentionally destroyed using explosives.
But a Labour spokesman said: “The foreign secretary has a habit of making wild and inappropriate comments. Talking about World War Two in that context is another one of those and not something that’s going to improve the climate for negotiations.” Former cabinet minister and Brexit campaigner Michael Gove hit back, tweeting that people offended by Mr Johnson’s “witty metaphor” were “humourless, deliberately obtuse, snowflakes”.
On Thursday, a monitoring group said IS Militants had beheaded four people and shot eight others dead outside a museum close to the archaeological site. The militants have previously carried out killings in the Roman Amphitheatre. When they first held the archaeological site, they blew up temples, burial towers and the Arch of Triumph, believing shrines and statues to be idolatrous.