Syrian leader President Bashar al-Assad is losing the fight against rebel forces and must be made to leave as quickly as possible, French President Francois Hollande said Friday.
"On the ground, the war is now turning against Assad and we should set ourselves this objective -- make Assad leave as quickly as possible," Hollande said as he went into a meeting of EU leaders where the Syrian conflict will be discussed.
Hollande said France had been the first to recognise fully the recently formed Syrian opposition coalition and that most countries now do so.
The European Union so far has stopped short of full recognition although earlier this week EU foreign ministers met the leader of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces at talks in Brussels.
Some EU member states are cautious about extending full recognition to the National Coalition because of doubts over how representative it is and its democratic credentials.