William Hague urges Syria troops to build united coalition
Friday 01 June 2012
William Hague urged Syrian opposition groups to build a united coalition
against the "murderous" Assad regime, hours after failing to rule out
an international military intervention.
The Foreign Secretary warned the country stood "on the brink" of all-out civil war in the wake of the massacre in Houla and the failure to implement international envoy Kofi Annan's peace plan.
Speaking from Istanbul, where he also met UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon, he said he had sought agreement on how the international community could help forces opposed to president Bashar Assad.
"My meetings with the Syrian opposition and the Turkish foreign minister were important and timely in the light of the sickening murders at el-Houla and other parts of Syria," he said.
"We discussed the desperate need for a political solution in Syria and the importance of implementing the Annan Plan in full to ensure that a political transition happens quickly.
"We discussed what more the UK and international community could do to help Syria's opposition become a credible and effective alternative to president Assad's murderous regime.
"I emphasised the need to build a coherent and unified opposition that brings together different representative groups."
The meetings, which also included Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu, came as activists claimed there had been a further mass killing by pro-government militias.
Some or all of the more than 100 brutal killings in Houla are believed to have been committed by pro-regime gunmen and are being investigated in an emergency session of the UN human rights body.
Earlier, amid reports of another mass killing by pro-government militias and increasing pressure for outside intervention, Mr Hague said a military response could not be ruled out.
"We are not ruling anything out," he told BBC Radio 4's Today.
"But a military intervention in Syria, as I have always pointed out, would have to be on a vastly greater scale than was the case in Libya and it would have to enjoy broad international support.
"So we are not at that stage at this point now."
After meeting Mr Ban today, Mr Hague said: "The secretary general and I share a deep concern that Syria is on the brink of a vicious civil war.
"We agreed that president Assad must fulfil his commitment to implementing the Annan Plan if this scenario is to be averted. We resolved to continue to work tirelessly to solve the crisis and will consider all options available in doing so."
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
£16000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Administrator is requir...
£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of design...
£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Service Desk Analyst - Chessington, Surrey...
£16000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is the UK's leading ...