Washington: The United States on Tuesday
demanded "actions, not words" from Syrian President Bashar
al-Assad who said dialogue could lead to a new constitution
and even end his Baath Party`s monopoly on power.
"What`s important now is action, not words," State
Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said after Assad
addressed the demands of pro-democracy protesters who have
been violently repressed. "A speech is just words."
Speaking during the daily news briefing, Nuland said:
"The fact that the Syrian people continue to protest every
week indicates that... for them, his words are not enough;
that what they want is action."
Nuland also rejected Assad`s contention that the
protest movement in his country was the work of foreign
instigators. "We`re just not buying it," Nuland told
"We would also note in the speech he spends a lot of
time blaming foreign instigators rather than appreciating that
his own people are simply disgusted by the regime," she said.
Nuland described it as a "regime that supports itself
through repression, corruption and fear."
Robert Ford, the US ambassador to Damascus, was
travelling today to northern Syria to assess the situation
there following reports the Syrian army had cut off a key
border village supplying people fleeing to Turkey, Nuland
Residents who managed to escape said the army closed
its only bakery and burned surrounding forests.