Washington: The United States has remained unchanged in its call for ouster of Syrian President Bashar Assad, despite Damascus’ move to allow Arab monitors into the country.
“No, our view has not changed that Assad needs to step down, that he is not the man to lead his country into the future,” Xinhua quoted the State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, as saying.
“This Arab League proposal, we believe, offers the best opportunity to end the violence immediately so that Syria can move on to the next stage, which is a period that we hope will lead to real dialogue about a democratic future, which, frankly, we don``t think Assad is capable of being part of,” she said.
Syria has recently accepted an Arab League plan to allow international monitors into the country to observe a situation that anti-government activists call a bloody crackdown on protestors.
Nuland said that the US wants to see these monitors deployed soon.
“We are concerned that there are delaying tactics here. We``ve always been concerned about that, which is why we want to see these monitors start deploying by the end of the week and the deployment be complete by the middle of January as the Arab League has hoped will happen,” Nuland said.
She said that the US and the European Union have been in close touch with the Arab League and both “want to test the Syrian government``s willingness to implement all aspects of the Arab League``s proposal.”
Nuland said they particularly want to see Syria’s commitment to unfettered access for human rights monitors into the country.
She also called for the Syrian government to implement three other aspects of the Arab League plan, stopping all acts of violence, withdrawing armed elements from populated areas and releasing all political prisoners.