Peace talks on Syria look likely to be heading for deadlock with opposition groups refusing to attend the planned peace conference while President Bashar al-Assad holds on to power and Saudi Arabia calling off all cooperation with the US over the conflict.
Ahead of November's planned Geneva II peace conference, foreign secretary Willliam Hague hosted the London 11 meeting - the so-called 11 "Friends of Syria" nations.
US secretary of state John Kerry said that the head of the opposition Syrian National Coalition, Ahmad al-Jarba, would decide within the week whether the group was ready to meet Assad's government on ways to resolve the conflict but Jarba told the meeting: "Geneva cannot succeed and we cannot take part it if allows Assad to gain more time to spill the blood of our people while the world looks on."
Hague said: "We urge the national coalition to commit itself fully to the Geneva II process. Geneva offers the Syrian people the best hope to improve their lives.
"There can be no peaceful and political solution in Syria without the participation of a moderate opposition."
However, the Friends of Syria also agreed that any transitional government could not include "Assad and his close associates with blood on their hands" in a communiqué released after the meeting.
Hague tweeted: "All at London meeting agreed there can be no peaceful or democratic future for Syria that involves Assad."
Assad has given no indication that he is prepared to step down and sees no reason not to run in elections scheduled for 2014. He told Arab satellite channel Al-Mayadeen that factors were not in place for the conference to succeed, AFP reported.
In a further blow to the peace talks, Saudi Arabia's intelligence chief said the kingdom would cease all future coordination with the US over the Syrian conflict in protest over US failure to launch military strikes in response to recent chemical attacks.
"The shift away from the US is a major one," an unnamed source said.
Russia was absent from the London 11 meeting, which comprised the US, France, Germany, Italy, Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabi, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the UK.