Hague welcomes Syria condemnation
Britain has welcomed Arab condemnation of the brutal crackdown by the Syrian regime, with Foreign Secretary William Hague warning that the world cannot watch in silence while protesters are killed and tortured.
Kuwait and Bahrain have joined Saudia Arabia in recalling their ambassadors from Syria in a move which has further isolated the regime of President Bashar Assad.
Gulf states are preparing to meet to discuss the violence in Syria. On Monday in the eastern town of Deir el-Zour there were reports of fresh artillery fire, a day after 42 people were killed in an intensifying crackdown by the regime.
Mr Hague said: "I condemn the violence against Syrian citizens in Hama, Deir el-Zour and other cities that shows no signs of ending.
"Hama and Deir el-Zour have been under siege for days by regime forces who have reportedly even used an anti-aircraft gun. This brutality exposes the regime's claims to be committed to a reform process as an utter sham.
"We must not watch in silence while hundreds are killed and thousands more detained and tortured. I therefore welcome the strong condemnation by countries across the Arab world and Turkey of the regime's actions and am urgently working with partners on increasing the pressure further on President Assad and those around him."
Mr Hague also criticised the arrest of prominent opposition figure Walid al-Bunni by security forces.
"I deplore the arrest of the political activist Walid al-Bunni and his two sons. Their arrest shows the regime's disregard for meaningful dialogue. I call on the authorities to release them immediately," he said.
More than 300 people are believed to have died in the past week, the bloodiest in Syria's five-month uprising.
Activists and human rights groups claim that the protests against the 40-year rule of the Assad family have left more than 1,700 dead since March, although the regime disputes this, blaming a foreign conspiracy for the trouble.