Hillary urges Assad to transfer power, leave country
Washington: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday urged Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to transfer power and leave his country. On the same day, reports said at least 86 people were killed in a fresh massacre in the country.
Hillary made the statement at a joint press conference in Istanbul with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on the sidelines of the two-day Global Counter-terrorism Forum, Xinhua reported.
Violence in Syria is "simply unconscionable", Hillary said, blaming Assad for the killings.
She said the US will continue to mount political and economic pressure on the Syrian government.
"We will intensify our efforts to support the Syrian people, given the urgency of the situation," she said.
Hillary said foreign ministers from many Western and Arab countries held an unofficial meeting in Istanbul Wednesday night and discussed additional steps on Syria, including support to the Syrian people for a transition process that would lead to "a inclusive and democratic post-Assad Syria".
Earlier, opposition activists and Syrian government forces clashed in al-Qubayr village in the country`s northern Hama province, in which at least 86 people were killed. The government, however, said only nine people were killed by a "terrorist group".
The toll figure was declared by Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Local Coordination Committees, Al Jazeera reported Thursday.
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