More international pressure needed on Assad: US

International community having economic ties with Syria should act against the authoritarian regime of Bashar-al Assad.

Washington: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday asked the international community, particularly countries having economic ties with Syria, to act up against the authoritarian regime of Bashar-al Assad, though she stopped short of asking the Syrian President to leave power.

Hillary Clinton said the "international chorus of condemnation" against Syria is growing, pointing out that Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries had also joined in the chorus against Assad.

"I am a big believer in results over rhetoric. I think what we`re doing is putting together a very careful set of actions and statements that will make our views very clear. "And to have other voices, particularly from the region, as part of that is essential for there to be any impact within Syria," Hillary Clinton said, while defending her administration against criticism that it has not been forceful enough in condemning ongoing violence in Syria.

Hillary Clinton sought to suggest that condemnation from the region shall be far more effective than from the US or Europe. She in her joint appearance with the Defence Secretary Leon Panetta, at the National Defence University said that it was not news that United States was not a friend of Syria, but reiterated the importance of sending an ambassador back to the country, also emphasizing the importance of universality of condemnation that may make a difference.

Refraining from giving any deadline to Assad, Hillary Clinton said she was not a believer in arbitrary deadlines when one is trying to manage difficult situations.

"So I happen to think where we are is where we need to be, where it is a growing international chorus of condemnation. The United States has been instrumental in orchestrating that.

"And we are pushing for stronger sanctions that we hope will be joined by other countries that have far bigger stakes economically than we do," Hillary Clinton said.

She pointed out that happenings in Syria were galvanising international opinion against the Assad regime, and global pressure was more important than just by the US or a few European countries.

"Just think of what`s happened in the last two weeks. You`ve had the Arab League reverse position. You`ve had King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia make a very strong statement and the Gulf Coordinating Council also making a strong statement," she said.

She highlighted the fact that Turkey is desperately trying to use its influence, which is considerable, within Syria, to convince the Assad regime to quit shelling its own people followed by withdrawal of its troops from the cities beginning a process of real transition.

"And yesterday, the foreign minister (of Turkey) made it clear that Assad regime is not following through on that," she noted.


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