UK hosts conference with Syrian opposition and international officials
The UK will host an international meeting on the future of Syria on January 10th with representatives from the US, the leadership of the Syrian Opposition Coalition and academics.
The conference will be a two-day meeting in Sussex, which will plan for the possible collapse of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
Foreign Secretary William Hague said the departure of Assad is “inevitable”, but that it is: “vital that the international community plans ahead for the day after in Syria. The aim is to galvanise planning for political transition.”
Talks will focus on challenges facing Syria such as maintaining public order, while insuring Syria’s public workers are still paid and essential services, such as medical care, keep going.
The Syrian uprising, which began in March 2011 has claimed an estimated 60,000 lives according to the UN.
Assad addressed the nation two days ago for the first time in seven months, offering a plan to end the fighting, which was quickly rejected by the West and the Syrian opposition.
In his televised address he accused the Syrian rebels of being “terrorists” and “puppets of the West”.