Hague backs Syria opposition

The Foreign Secretary William Hague has reiterated that Britain "stands fully behind the Syrian national opposition" after meeting the group's leaders in London.

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UK and Japan agree more must be done to help Syrians

UK is 'one of the important friends of the Syrian people'

The Syrian National Coalition's Monzer Akbik told Channel 4 News that despite the Government's defeat over military action "the UK is one of the important friends of the Syrian people".

He added: "There are many ways that the UK can help the Syrian people, by humanitarian aid, by helping build institutions, by helping the reconstruction of the country after all this destruction."

Earlier William Hague held talks with the Syrian National Coalition president Ahmad Al-Jarba in London and said the UK remained "fully behind" the opposition.


UK provides 'chemical weapon protection to opposition'

Speaking after meeting Syrian opposition leaders William Hague said:

President Al-Jarba and the people of Syria should be in no doubt that the UK stands fully behind the Syrian National opposition – the sole legitimate representatives of the Syrian people.

They are the best possible hope for a political solution to the crisis and for a future Syria which is stable and democratic.

During our meeting today, I condemned the abhorrent attack on 21 August and reiterated the UK’s absolute opposition to any use of chemical weapons.

I confirmed the UK’s package of chemical weapons protective equipment, which includes 5000 escape hoods, had been delivered to the Syrian opposition.

We also discussed ways the UK could provide further non-lethal support to the opposition to help save lives and alleviate humanitarian suffering.

The UK will continue to support the Assistance Coordination Unit to deliver help to Syrians suffering in dire need.

Clegg: Regret Labour did not 'rise to occasion' on Syria

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said he regretted Labour leader Ed Miliband could not "rise to the occasion" and vote with the government for a military strike against Syria.

Nick Clegg used his regular slot on LBC radio to criticise Labour for not voting to strike against Syria. Credit: Press Association

Speaking on LBC radio he said he was frustrated that the parties worked together to propose the motion, only for the house to be divided during the vote.

"We changed our motion constantly. Even right up to the last minute we changed it to accept a succession of suggestions they made.

"Then they came up with a rival motion to divide the house rather than unite it, even though the motions were ... to all intents and purposes the same.

"That was when I just really thought, surely we can rise to the occasion and try and not create rival motions that say almost exactly the same thing, but try to act in the national and international interest."

William Hague to discuss UK role with Syria opposition

Syrian opposition leaders will meet Foreign Secretary William Hague to discuss what role the UK could play in bringing about a political solution to the conflict in Syria.

Foreign Secretary William Hague Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

Monzer Akbik of the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) said other countries would form a "coalition of the willing" to launch strikes against Assad even without the UK's involvement.

He told BBC2's Newsnight that the international community had a duty to "take measures in order to paralyse the ability of the war machine of the regime to kill".


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