Obama holds video conference with EU leaders
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Last Updated: Thursday, May 31, 2012, 14:12
  
Washington: US President Barack Obama has held video conference with the leaders of France, Italy and Germany and discussed the worsening situation in Syria, besides other issues including the euro crisis.

The White House said Obama held a video conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti.

Leaders discussed recent developments in Syria and their shared perspectives on the importance of ending the violence there and the urgency of achieving a political transition, the White House said in a statement yesterday.

"They discussed developments in Europe, following up on the discussions held at the G8 Camp David Summit and at the informal meeting of European Union Leaders last week. Leaders agreed to continue to consult closely as they prepare to meet at the G20 Summit in Mexico next month," the statement said.

Earlier, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters that there is need to put further pressure on the President Bashar Al-Assad regime, the need to isolate it further and to bring about the political transition that Syrians so desperately deserve and desire.

"I won't speak for any other government. I would simply say that it is our belief, and it's the belief that we express in these conversations, that supporting the Assad regime is placing oneself or one's nation on the wrong side of history. Assad will be remembered forever for what he did this past weekend and what he has done for the past 15 months," he said.

"He squandered an opportunity to preside over a political transition that would improve the position of Syria in the international community, and most importantly, improve the lives of his citizens. And that will not change," he said.

"It is certainly our belief that as events progress in Syria and as we continue to consult with members of the Security Council and other nations, including, of course, nations who are part of the Friends of Syria, that we will make the argument that more action needs to be taken to pressure and isolate the Assad regime, to hold it responsible for what it has done," Carney said.

The US yesterday also announced sanctions against another Syrian bank.

The Obama administration, he said, has led on Syria and has have led throughout the upheaval known as the Arab Spring.

"I think that every one of these situations that have arisen within the Arab Spring demands a different response because of the different circumstances that surround them. We've been through this on a number of occasions when I'm asked and we discuss the comparisons and the distinctions between Libya and Syria," Carney said.

PTI


First Published: Thursday, May 31, 2012, 14:12


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