John Kerry urges Syria opposition to attend Rome talks

LONDON Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:28am EST

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LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged Syria's opposition on Monday to attend a planned international meeting in Rome this week, saying that President Barack Obama was evaluating further steps required in order to help protect Syrian civilians.

"Today we were discussing various options and I'm not going to go into what they may or not be at this point in time," he told reporters on a visit to London where he met British officials.

"I want our friends in the Syrian opposition council to know we are not coming to Rome simply to talk. We're coming to Rome to make the decision about next steps and perhaps even other options that may or not be discussed further after that."

(Reporting by Arshad Mohammed and Mohammed Abbas; Writing by Maria Golovnina; editing by Michael Holden)