Syrian rebel leaders in Britain for conference on transition

Leaders of the rebellion against Syria's President Bashar Assad will today join a conference in Britain designed to focus minds internationally on planning for political transition in the Middle Eastern country.

The two-day conference being held behind closed doors at Wilton Park in West Sussex will bring together officials, experts and academics, including representatives of Arab states and multilateral agencies, as well as leaders of the opposition Syrian National Coalition.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "The UK's objective is to galvanise international thinking and planning on a Syrian-led political transition.

"We're doing everything we can to bring an end to the violence in Syria and achieve a genuine political transition."

No UK Government ministers are expected to attend the conference and participants are not expected to speak publicly about their discussions.