William Hague urges Syria troops to build united coalition

 

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."

PA

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Photographer / Floorplanner / Domestic Energy Assessor

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Photographer/ Floor planner /...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Surrey - £40,000

£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Assistant

£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £35,000

£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence