lonDON: Britain is to offer support to a coalition of Syrian rebels after recognising it as the "sole legitimate representative" of the Syrian people, Foreign Secretary William Hague has announced.

The decision to recognise the National Coalition of the Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces – bringing together opponents of President Bashar al Assad's discredited regime – follows a meeting between Mr Hague and the alliance's leaders.

Mr Hague said the group's assurances had been "encouraging". "It is strongly in the interests of Syria, of the wider region and of the United Kingdom that we support them and deny space to extremist groups," he said.

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