Prime Minister David Cameron today indicated that Britain is ready to step up its support for the Syrian opposition and warned that “nothing is off the table” in the effort to speed the transition of power in the Middle Eastern country.
Mr Cameron was speaking at the end of a European Council summit at which leaders agreed to look at all options for action to support a democratic future for Syria.
He said that the EU and the UK should be doing everything they can to protect civilians and to help accelerate the transition from the regime of President Bashar Assad.
Speaking at a press conference in Brussels, Mr Cameron said: "I think it is very important that we do this.
"I want a very clear message to go out to President Assad that nothing is off the table, that further support, further work, further help with the opposition - who are now better formed, better organised, better co-ordinated - is robustly on the table.
"I want us to work with that opposition, to help shape that opposition, to advise and work with that opposition, so that we can see the speediest possible transition in Syria.
"It is a very difficult situation. There are no easy answers. These things do take time. We have to understand all the complexities.
"But as a European Union and as a country - Britain - we should be doing everything we can to help speed up that transition and work towards what it says in the conclusion - and we had an important role in drafting this - that what we want is a future for Syria that is democratic and inclusive, with full support for human rights and the rights of minorities."