Barack Obama rules out unilateral US action on Syria

US President Barack Obama asserted that his administration would continue to work with international partners and the Syrian opposition.

Updated: May 17, 2013, 08:44 AM IST

Washington: US President Barack Obama has ruled out any unilateral American action against Assad regime, asserting that his administration would continue to work with international partners and the Syrian opposition.

"This is an international problem. It is very much my hope to continue to work with all the various parties involved, to find a solution that brings peace to Syria, stabilises the region, stabilises those chemical weapons," Obama said on Thursday in a joint news conference with visiting Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Ruling out any unilateral action by the United States against the Assad regime, Obama said, "It`s not going to be something that the United States does by itself. I don`t think anybody in the region, including the Syrian Prime Minister would think that US unilateral actions would bring about a better outcome for Syria."

Obama said that US and the international community needs to continue to strengthen capacity of the Syrian opposition that are on the ground fighting to protect themselves from the Assad regime.

He also stressed on continuing to mobilise the entire international community to put more and more pressure on Assad so that he recognises that he is no longer legitimate and that he needs to go.

"With respect to what I`ve said in the past around red lines -- what I`ve said is that the use of chemical weapons is something that the civilised world has recognised should be out of bounds," he said.

"My intention is to make sure that we present all that we know to the international community, to put all pressure that they can on the Assad regime and to work with opposition to bring about that political transition," Obama said.

Turkish PM Erdogan stressed that it is the collective responsibility of everyone to ensure that democracy is established in Syria.

"Our goal is to see the tyranny, dictatorship go away and be replaced with democracy. It is a collective responsibility on the part of all countries that believe in democracy. And this is what we will continue to do," Erdogan said.

Erdogan pointed out that it was important to prevent Syria from becoming a haven for terrorist organisations.

"Supporting the opposition and Assad leaving are important issues. We also have to prevent Syria from becoming an area for terrorist organisations. We agree that chemical weapons should not be used and all the minorities and their rights should be secured," the Turkish PM said.