Britain condemned the latest violence in Syria which has reportedly seen dozens of anti-government demonstrators shot dead by the security forces.
Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt said that he was "deeply concerned" by the use of force in the city of Deraa which has emerged as the centre of the protest movement.
"I have been watching closely the situation in Syria, and am deeply concerned by the use of force against demonstrators," he said in a statement.
"I condemn the violence that has resulted in a large number of deaths in Deraa. All Syrians have a right to express their views peacefully.
"I call on the Syrian government to respect the people's right to peaceful protest and to address their legitimate grievances.
"I call for restraint on all sides but in particular from the Syrian security forces. Violence is never the right answer to these situations."
Mr Burt noted that one of President Bashar Assad's advisers had said that the government was looking for political reform.
"I call on the Syrian government to implement these proposals without delay and to engage peacefully on the legitimate demands of the Syrian people, who will be looking for action to back up such statements," he said.