Demonstrators hold Syrian opposition flags during a protest against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, after Friday prayers in Kafranbel near Idlib December 14, 2012. REUTERS/Raed Al-Fares/Shaam News Network/Handout

Brussels -

European Union leaders have tasked their foreign ministers with exploring “all options” to buttress the opposition in Syria, the bloc's president said Friday at the end of a two-day summit in Brussels.

“We have a moral duty on this issue, where so many innocent lives are being lost,” Herman Van Rompuy told journalists.

Leaders tasked the foreign ministers “to look at all options to support and help the opposition and enable the greatest support for the protection of civilians,” he said.

But German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that they had not talked about the option of loosening an EU arms embargo on Syria to the benefit of rebels. She also said that the future of Syria cannot feature President Bashar al-Assad. - Sapa-dpa