United Nations: US Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton has demanded UN action to stop spiraling violence in
Syria as she prepared to join other top diplomats in pressing
a reluctant Russia.
As a Syrian government offensive was blamed for the deaths
of dozens more civilians, Clinton said on Monday she would
join the foreign ministers of France and Britain and the Arab
League chief at the United Nations today.
"The United States condemns in the strongest possible
terms the escalation of the Syrian regime`s violent and brutal
attacks on its own people," Clinton said in a statement.
"The Security Council must act and make clear to the
Syrian regime that the world community views its actions as a
threat to peace and security. The violence must end, so that a
new period of democratic transition can begin," she said.
Clinton said that the Security Council session aimed to
send a clear message from the international community to the
Syrian people: "We stand with you."
But Russia, the main diplomatic supporter and arms
supplier to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, held firm that
it would use its veto power against an Arab League-supported
resolution that calls for a ceasefire.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said that
the latest draft resolution, which was introduced by Morocco
on Friday, was little different to a Western-backed one which
Russia and China vetoed in October.
"The draft has statements in it calling on the member
states to stop arms deliveries to Syria," he told Interfax
news agency in an interview.
"But there is no clear line between arms contraband that
some countries engage in to support extremist forces in Syria,
and the legal military-technical ties with this country," he
Russia has instead called for Assad`s regime and the
opposition to hold "informal contacts" in Moscow without any
Asked about Russia`s call for talks, White House spokesman
Jay Carney said the United States supported a political
solution but was "intensely discussing" with Russia the "real
deterioration on the ground" in Syria.