Syria: Hague seeks united coalition

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Foreign Secretary William Hague warned Syria could collapse into a sectarian civil war // Foreign Secretary William Hague warned Syria could collapse into a sectarian civil war
Foreign Secretary William Hague warned Syria could collapse into a sectarian civil war
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 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.
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