Foreign Secretary William Hague has said he "utterly condemns" the Syrian government's use of violence against protesters, after the deaths of at least 350 people.
But getting the outside world to agree a policy on Syria is hugely difficult - discussions at the UN continue but so far with little result, not even a Security Council statement condemning the violence.
Speaking to Today presenter Justin Webb, Mr Hague said that Syrian leader President Assad is "at a fork in the road" and it is not too late to "go down the right prong of the fork".
Assad had made two important speeches on reform in Syria - one "too weak" and one "too late" - but had "committed himself to important reforms", Mr Hague added.
"There is a major diplomatic effort going on," to ensure President Assad followed through with his promises.
But he denied that the UK was being "gentle" with Syria, in comparison with Libya.
"It is not only a moral question. We will act internationally with legal and international authority."
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