PM Ramadan messsage remembers Syria

David Cameron used the start of Ramadan to highlight the suffering of Syrians today as the civil war continued to rage.

The holy month of sunrise-to-sunset fasting begins today and the Prime Minister seized the chance to remind the country of the ongoing bloodshed in the Middle East.

He said: "As the holy Islamic month of Ramadan begins, I want to take this opportunity to send my warmest wishes to Muslims in Britain and across the world.

He continued: "During this hugely important time of prayer and fasting, we are reminded of the importance of charity and compassion. These are values and traditions at the heart of Islam but shared by those of all faiths in Britain.

"At a time of great change and uncertainty across the world, I am proud of the role Britain plays on the international stage to help those less fortunate through our aid budget and work with our allies and friends.

"Our thoughts must be with those that have suffered the most this past year - particularly the Syrian people. So let me wish everyone peace, happiness and unity during this special time and say Ramadan Mubarak."

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: "Once again as we approach Ramadan, the eyes of the world are on the Middle East. A year in from the Arab Spring, the people of Syria are still suffering as the conflict with the Assad regime escalates.

"As the British government does all it can to work with the international community to help the people of Syria, citizens of all faiths and none are united in the spirit of hope and solidarity as they watch the awful events unfold. This spirit will be particularly apparent during Ramadan."

Foreign Secretary William Hague said: "The values of charity and compassion that are central to Ramadan are shared by Muslims and non-Muslims alike. They have particular poignancy and significance in the light of the suffering of people of all religions in Syria today.

"I hope the year ahead will be one in which we will see peace, security and stability restored in Syria."