US calls for end to Assad regime
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Last Updated: Sunday, February 03, 2013, 12:57
  
Washington: The United States has called for an end to the Assad regime in Syria, insisting that it will continue supporting the Syrian Opposition.

The US Vice President Joe Biden held meetings with the Syrian Opposition leaders along with the Special US Representative on Syria in Munich as part of the US effort to resolve the Syrian crisis, which he also discussed in his meeting with the Russian Foreign Minister, his office said yesterday.

During his meeting with United Nations and Arab League Joint Special Representative (JSR) Lakhdar Brahimi, Biden discussed the dire humanitarian situation inside Syria and the regional implications of the Syria crisis, the White House said.

Biden also met separately with Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC) President Moaz al-Khatib on the margins of the Munich Security Conference, during which he praised al-Khatib's personal courage and leadership of the SOC, the legitimate representative of the Syrian people.

According to the White House, Biden urged al-Khatib to continue his efforts to maintain unity among the SOC leadership, to isolate extremist elements within the broader opposition, and to reach out to, and be inclusive of, a broad range of communities inside Syria, including Alawites, Christians and Kurds.

Biden reaffirmed the US call for an end to the Assad regime and a transition that leads to a peaceful, inclusive and democratic Syria, where the rights of all Syrians are protected.

He commended al-Khatib's recent statements, including in Munich, expressing openness, under certain circumstances, to the possibility of negotiations to bring the Syrian people the leadership they deserve.

In his meeting with the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, Biden emphasised the importance of the two countries working together in the interest of international peace and security, including in Syria.

Biden noted that while the US and Russia will continue to have serious differences - including, among other things, on human rights and Russia's recent ban on US adoptions - US and Russian leadership is necessary to achieve practical solutions to the challenges facing the world today, the White House said.

PTI


First Published: Sunday, February 03, 2013, 12:20


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