Syria: Cameron warns of false choice between Assad and extremists

David Cameron and Barack Obama The G8 is deeply divided over Syria

Find the moderates. That has been David Cameron's instruction to his ministers and to Britain's diplomats.

He insists that Britain does not have to choose between backing what he calls President Assad's murderous regime or the rebels who Boris Johnson called Syria's maniacs.

It is, the prime minister claims, in our interests to back those who can help re-build Syria after its war ends - those who the foreign secretary warned today face possible extermination.

Even before the intervention of the Mayor of London, it was clear Mr Cameron simply did not have the support in his party or his coalition to move beyond assisting, training and aiding those people.

His hope is that they will be armed by the United States. His problem is whilst he lacks the support to act President Obama has, so far, given every appearance of lacking the enthusiasm to do so.

This summit is an advert for the tranquillity of Northern Ireland - a place scarred for so long by conflict - but it is also a reminder that the world is deeply divided on how to handle what William Hague today called the worst human tragedy of our times.

Nick Robinson Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

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  • rate this

    Comment number 18.

    AfA@9 "Arrivals: surprisingly, 8"
    sieuarlu@10 "I don't believe Cameron's motives..."
    PCS@12: "Was it Col North…"
    sagamix @16: "… an urge that needs to be fought."
    Up@snuff @17: "What will happen if no moderates are found?"

    We begin to jest, but "worst human tragedy" or "just the latest", HOW is The Great Game more practical / promising than making peace - home & abroad - in equal partnership?

  • rate this

    Comment number 17.

    When is a moderate with a gun & rocket launcher not a moderate?

    The search for moderates. Sounds to me rather like the desperate search to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq in order to justify the invasion & Gulf 2 war in 2003.

    What will happen if no moderates are found?

  • rate this

    Comment number 16.

    Very tempting for a British PM to try to become a player in the Middle East but it's an urge that needs to be fought. With weapons if necessary.

  • rate this

    Comment number 15.

    seems to me if one wants to stop a war, there is no reason to take sides, just stop supplying ammunition, to both sides. Or am I missing something.

  • rate this

    Comment number 14.

    So William Hague called Syria "the worst human tragedy of our times"

    Yes things are very bad, but it is just yet another tragedy on top of an on-going list of tragedies, caused by unwanted and unneeded political interference by the UK & USA?

    Cameron, Hague - if you bothered to ask your electorate, you'd find that the majority don't share your warmongering attitudes. Please stay out of it.


Comments 5 of 18


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