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Britain to boost Syria opposition support if no ceasefire

•, AFP
 Britain will boost support for Syria's opposition and seek tougher sanctions if government forces do not adhere to a ceasefire, Foreign Secretary William Hague warned Wednesday.

Hague spoke at a meeting of the Group of Eight powers in Washington as Syria said that it will cease operations against rebel fighters from Thursday -- the date set by peace envoy Kofi Annan to halt more than a year of bloodshed.

"Our pressure on the regime -- its campaign of murder, torture and oppression -- must be intensified if Kofi Annan has not succeeded," Hague told reporters.

If Syria respects the ceasefire, Hague called for "very urgent work" including monitoring to ensure that violence does not resume.

"But if there isn't a ceasefire or if a ceasefire is not upheld over the coming days, then in the view of the United Kingdom, we will want to return to the Security Council in a new attempt to obtain a resolution on Syria, we will intensify our support for the opposition -- the Syrian opposition -- and we will seek strong sanctions," Hague told reporters.

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