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Updated: April 27, 2011 14:27 IST

Assad still has chance to reform: UK

AP
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Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague. File photo: AP.
Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague. File photo: AP.

Hague told BBC radio on Wednesday that Mr. Assad relies on others for his authority, and Mr. Hague is "not sure how free he is to pursue a reform agenda."

Britain’s Foreign Secretary says Syrian President Bashar Assad may not have the power within his country to usher in reforms demanded by protesters.

Hague told BBC radio on Wednesday that Mr. Assad relies on others for his authority, and Mr. Hague is “not sure how free he is to pursue a reform agenda.”

The British minister visited Assad in Syria in January for talks.

Britain has condemned Syria’s brutal crackdown on public protests, but acknowledged it is taking a different approach than towards Libya.

Mr. Hague said the situation was different because the Arab League had called for international action in Libya, backed by the United Nations Security Council.

He insisted that Mr. Assad still had a chance to embrace democratic reforms, and confirmed the U.K. retains diplomatic ties.

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