UK's Hague stresses support for Syrian opposition

By Lara Jakes

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 22 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

Ministers pose for a group photograph before conducting a meeting of the 'London 11', from the Friends of Syria Core Group, in Lancaster House Tuesday Oct. 22, 2013 in London, England. From left: Jordan's Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal, UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Britain's William Hague, Qatari Minister for Foreign Affairs Khalid bin Mohammad Al Attiyah and US Secretary of state John Kerry.

Oli Scarff, Associated Press

LONDON — British Foreign Secretary William Hague has emphasized Western leaders' support for Syria's moderate opposition as world leaders met in London to chart a map for Syrian peace talks.

Hague stressed Tuesday that efforts are being made to bring all sides to a negotiating table in Geneva — but stopped short of saying Syria's opposition coalition has agreed to attend talks.

Hague said the focus is on securing a transitional government for Syria. But he made clear that Syrian President Bashar Assad would play no role in any such transitional government — which is a key demand of the Syrian opposition.

He said the opposition has the full support of Britain, the U.S. and the other leaders gathered in London and urged the opposition to commit itself fully to talks.

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