Britain’s Foreign Secretary, William Hague, has said that Syria’s president has no plans to leave office because he believes he is strong and in control of the country. Speaking to America’s CNN on Sunday, Hague said: “President Bashar Al-Assad is clearly not intending to budge…This has gone backwards and forwards over three years now. And so I think it would be a mistake for this regime to think it’s now so strong it doesn’t need to do anything.”
The foreign secretary insisted the Al-Assad’s regime must accept what the opposition has to offer to end the conflict in Syria. He pointed out that despite the difficulties encountered during the Geneva II peace talks, “the Syrian opposition exceeded expectations by sending an active delegation which offered serious proposals for a transitional government. However, he noted that the regime’s delegation did not deal well with the matter. “It did not raise the issue of the transitional government or agree to allow humanitarian aid to reach the hundreds of thousands of besieged Syrians.” Hague said that he hopes that countries supporting the Syrian regime, including Russia and Iran, will press it to play a more constructive role.
When asked whether the Syrian opposition’s attitude would encourage Britain to support it militarily, the British politician said that a number of states already do so but stressed that the UK is not one of them. Even so, he did not rule a change in Britain’s attitude, saying that the opposition deserves the support it receives from various countries.
In conclusion, Hague said that it is important to maintain a moderate opposition in Syria otherwise the choice will be between Al-Assad’s regime and extremists.