9.19am: French President Francois Hollande has called for stiffer sanctions against Syria and more support for the rebels, Reuters reports.
"Bashar al-Assad must go," Hollande told a meeting of foreign ministers and senior diplomats from the "Friends of Syria" group.
"It's in the interest of Syria, of its neighbours and everybody who wants peace in the region."
Hollande said he wanted the participants at the talks - who were cheered by reports of the defection of a senior Syrian general - to also agree to step up humanitarian aid to the country.
Britain's foreign office says there are six key aims for the conference:
• Fully endorse joint special envoy Kofi Annan's transition plan and the outcomes from the action group in Geneva on 30 June
• Urge countries to use their influence on the Syrian government and opposition to engage with Annan and ensure the implementation of a transitional process in line with the principles he has set out
• Agree further ways of increasing pressure on the Syrian regime to comply with Annan's plan and urge action at the UN if it does not
• Emphasise the need for accountability including support for the commission of inquiry and evidence gathering
• Call for more sanctions... Source/Origin >> Read More