Hague: UN Mission is final chance for Assad
William Hague has welcomed the UN Security Council's decision to extend the observer mission in Syria for another 30 days, saying it gives the regime "one final chance" to live up to its commitments.
The Security Council passed Resolution 2059, extending the mission for a final 30 days, despite earlier reports that Russia would veto the British proposal.
"I pay tribute to the monitors who, with great courage, continue to do all that they can to help the Syrian people in their hour of need," the Foreign Secretary said.
"The Assad regime must take steps to establish an environment in which the UN Mission can work safely and effectively by ceasing the use of heavy weapons and the brutal assaults of its security forces. This is the final chance for it to do so."
Meanwhile, opposition rebels have seized control of parts of the country's borders and attacked police headquarters in Damascus, following the death of three top government officials in a suicide attack on Wednesday.
Activists now control the main border crossing between Iraq and Syria, as well as two crossings into Turkey, in what has been described as a potentially pivotal moment for the Syrian uprising.
Speaking earlier on Radio 4's Today programme, Mr Hague said he placed the blame firmly on Russia for the UN Security Council’s failure to do "what it should be doing”, and announced that the UK would now be looking to do more outside of the UN to strengthen the Syrian opposition.
He denied, however, that the UK would give lethal support to the opposition but said he was in “no doubt there will be other countries who will.”
In another development today, Russia’s ambassador to France Alexandre Orlov told a French radio station that President Assad has accepted he will have to step down and is ready to leave power in an “orderly way", but the Syrian information ministry has since denied this.