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David Cameron and Francois Hollande have agreed to act jointly to increase the pressure on Syrian President Assad to stick to Kofi Annan's peace plan.
After the two leaders held a phone call today, a Downing Street spokesperson said: "The Houla massacre and the events of recent days in Syria and Lebanon illustrate, once again, the danger posed to the Syrian people by the actions of the regime of Bashar al-Assad.
"The senseless murderous brutality of the Damascus regime is a threat to regional security and those responsible must be held accountable for their actions. It is in the interest of everyone to put in place an orderly democratic transition that meets the aspirations of the Syrian people. The UN Security Council must remain actively engaged and support the mission of Mr. Annan."
The two men agreed to a meeting of the Friends of Syria group that will take place in Paris, and reiterated their desire to involve Russia in a solution to the crisis.
Speaking from Moscow alongside his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, William Hague said the world was “deeply disturbed” by the recent Houla massacre, which left over 100 dead, including dozens of children.
The Foreign Secretary urged world leaders to “redouble” their efforts to ensure President Assad implements the 6-point ceasefire plan set out by UN special envoy Mr Annan at the beginning of April.
“It’s not as if the alternatives in Syria are the Annan plan or the Assad regime retaking control of the country,” Mr Hague said.
“The alternatives are the Annan plan, or ever increasing chaos in Syria and a descent closer and closer to all-out civil war and collapse.”
Mr Hague indicated that Russia now faces a stark choice between using its leverage with the Assad regime or risking its last bastion of influence in the Middle East descending into chaos.
The UN Security Council has convened an emergency session to discuss what the White House called a "vile testament to an illegitimate regime".
The US has also expelled Syrian diplomats but ruled out involvement in any military intervention.
Responding to the UN's action, Labour will table an urgent question in the House of Lords this afternoon, “to ask Her Majesty's Government, in the light of the United Nations statement this weekend, what steps they plan to take to help end the conflict in Syria”.
In a further development, a senior commander in Iran's Revolutionary Guards has admitted that Iranian forces are operating in Syria in support of President Assad's regime.
Ismail Gha'ani said in an interview with the Isna news agency: "If the Islamic republic was not present in Syria, the massacre of people would have happened on a much larger scale."
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28/05/2012 on Today, BBC Radio 4
28/05/2012 on The World Tonight, BBC Radio 4
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