Leaders of the rebellion against Syria's President Bashar Assad are attending a top-secret conference in Britain planning for political transition in the Middle Eastern country.

The two-day conference at Wilton Park in West Sussex will bring together officials, experts and academics, including representatives of Arab states and multilateral agencies, as well as leaders of the opposition Syrian National Coalition.


William Hague
's departure from power is inevitable. Vital that international community plans ahead for the day after in

In a Twitter message about the conference, Foreign Secretary William Hague said: "Assad's departure from power is inevitable. Vital that international community plans ahead for the day after in Syria."

syria

At least 60,000 have been killed during the Syria conflict, the UN said

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "The UK's objective is to galvanise international thinking and planning on a Syrian-led political transition.

"We're doing everything we can to bring an end to the violence in Syria and achieve a genuine political transition."

Syrian experts and academics are expected to share their thinking on post-conflict stabilisation and to discuss options for the international community to be ready to support a future Syria.

The meeting is intended to support efforts to understand what kind of challenges Syria will face in transition and how the international community can provide support to a future transitional authority to overcome these challenges.

No UK government ministers are expected to attend the conference and participants are not expected to speak publicly about their discussions.

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  • A Syrian boy who fled with his family from the violence in their village, cries as he waits to fill water at a displaced camp, in the Syrian village of Atma, near the Turkish border with Syria, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)

  • A Syrian baby cries as he lays on a swing attached to a tree at a displaced camp, in the Syrian village of Atma, near the Turkish border with Syria, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)

  • A Syrian boy who fled with his family from the violence in their village, stands next to a tent at a displaced camp, in the Syrian village of Atma, near the Turkish border with Syria, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)

  • A Syrian boy who fled with his family from the violence in their village, carries water bottles at a displaced camp, in the Syrian village of Atma, near the Turkish border with Syria, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)

  • A Syrian girl who fled with her family from the violence in their village, rests at a displaced camp, in the Syrian village of Atma, near the Turkish border with Syria, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)

  • A Syrian girl who fled with her family from the violence in their village, washes clothes at a displaced camp, in the Syrian village of Atma, near the Turkish border with Syria, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)

  • A Syrian girl who fled with her family from the violence in their village, washes clothes at a displaced camp, in the Syrian village of Atma, near the Turkish border with Syria, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)

  • A Syrian boy who fled with his family from the violence in their village, sits on a swing at a displaced camp, in the Syrian village of Atma, near the Turkish border with Syria. Monday, Nov. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)

  • Syrian girls who fled from the violence in their village, wash their clothes at a displaced camp, in the Syrian village of Atma, near the Turkish border with Syria, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)

  • Tow Syrian girls who fled with their family from the violence in their village, sit in front of a fire next to their tent at a camp, in the Syrian village of Atma, near the Turkish border with Syria, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)

  • A Syrian boy holds remains of a mortar and shells which are allegedly fired by Syrian Army as mourners carry the coffin of 13-year-old Ahmad bin Muhsin Qarush during his funeral on March 24, 2012 who was reportedly killed two days earlier in shelling by regime forces in the northwestern city of Sermin. (Ricardo Garcia Vilanova/AFP/Getty Images)