Clinton says US will force Syria’s president to leave the country
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attends a “Friends of Syria” meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, on June 6, 2012.
US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton says Washington will continue to mount pressure on the Syrian government until President Bashar al-Assad leaves office.
“Assad must transfer power and depart Syria,” she said after a late night strategy session on Wednesday with Arab and Western powers on how to mount pressure on Damascus.
During the “Friends of Syria” meeting in the Turkish city of Istanbul, Clinton emphasized that measures against the Syrian government will continue until Assad is sent into exile, warning that such measures will be both political and economic.
Clinton admitted to Washington’s failure in rallying international support to topple Assad’s government, calling for unity among US allies to align other nations on the issue of Syria.
“We have to reiterate our unity, we have to send a clear message to other nations that are not yet working with us, or even actively supporting the Assad regime, that there is no future in that,” she said.
Syria has been getting a lot of heat from Washington after an escalation of violence in the country.
Syrian opposition groups and their Western sympathizers blame the government for the violence, but Damascus says the United States and its allies are funding armed groups to carry out terrorist attacks inside Syria.
Meanwhile, Clinton sent her special representative on Syria to Moscow on Thursday to persuade Russia, which along with China have voiced opposition to any military action against the Syrian government.
“Russia and China are decisively against attempts to regulate the Syrian crisis with outside military intervention, as well as imposing … a policy of regime change,” they said in a joint statement issued on Wednesday.