Media playback is unsupported on your device

William Hague: UK's concern is 'saving Syrian lives'

17 June 2013 Last updated at 09:20 BST

The leaders of the G8 nations are to begin a summit in Northern Ireland, with the conflict in Syria set to dominate.

UK PM David Cameron met Russian leader Vladimir Putin - Syria's key ally - on Sunday. They will each hold separate talks with US President Barack Obama, who has indicated he will arm the rebels.

Speaking to the Today programme's John Humphrys, Foreign Secretary William Hague said that the conflict was the "worst human tragedy of our time" and added that it was "on a trajectory to get worse".

He emphasised the importance of supporting the "moderate sensible parts of the opposition", and while he stated the the UK was not currently supplying the Syrian rebels arms, he did not say whether the UK would in the future.

"We don't rule any options out" he said, and warned that "there are no palatable options" in the conflict.

He insisted that the main priority the UK was to "save lives" of Syrians.

The BBC political editor Nick Robinson gave his analysis.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Monday 17 June 2013.