Washington: US Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton has asked Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad to demonstrate his willingness to peace by pulling back troops from populated areas and accept a UN-brokered peace plan.
"Given Assad`s history of over-promising and under-
delivering, that commitment must now be matched by immediate
actions. We will judge Assad`s sincerity and seriousness by
what he does, not by what he says," Clinton told reporters in
joint press availability with Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas
"If he is ready to bring this dark chapter in Syria`s
history to a close, he can prove it by immediately ordering
regime forces to stop firing and begin withdrawing from
populated areas," she said.
Clinton was responding to questions on joint UN-Arab
League envoy Kofi Annan`s six-point plan that calls for a
UN-monitored ceasefire, access for humanitarian aid workers
and an inclusive, Syrian-led political transition to a
democratic, multi-party political system.
"He (Assad) can also allow international aid workers
unfettered access to those in need, and he can release
political prisoners, permit peaceful political activity, allow
the international news media unobstructed access, and begin a
legitimate political process that leads to a democratic transition," Clinton said.
"As the regime takes steps, which we have yet to see, but
assuming it does so, then Kofi Annan has pledged to work with
the opposition to take steps of its own so that the bloodshed
ends, that there won`t be violence coming from opposition
forces, that humanitarian aid will be permitted to come into
areas where the opposition has been holding, that the true
political dialogue will begin, and that all Syrians will be
welcomed to participate in an inclusive process," she said.
"Now that`s a lot to look forward to seeing implemented,
but given the response that we have had, we are going to be
working very urgently between now and Istanbul to translate
into concrete steps what we expect to see," she said.
She also asked Syrian opposition to come forward with a
unified position and a vision for the country.
"They must be able to clearly demonstrate a commitment to
including all Syrians and protecting the rights of all
Syrians," she said, adding that the US would be pushing them
very hard to present a vision at Istanbul conference.