News / Middle East

Clinton: Russia Needs to Back Syrian Transition to Remove Assad

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, left, greets US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clintonas she arrives for meetings at Rosenbad in Stockholm, Sweden, Sunday, June 3, 2012.Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, left, greets US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clintonas she arrives for meetings at Rosenbad in Stockholm, Sweden, Sunday, June 3, 2012.
x
Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, left, greets US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clintonas she arrives for meetings at Rosenbad in Stockholm, Sweden, Sunday, June 3, 2012.
Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, left, greets US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clintonas she arrives for meetings at Rosenbad in Stockholm, Sweden, Sunday, June 3, 2012.

STOCKHOLM - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is urging Russia to help start a political transition in Syria, the outcome of which she says will be President Bashar al-Assad's ouster.  

 

When Secretary Clinton spoke Friday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, she says her message was simple and straight-forward.

 

"We all have to intensify our efforts to achieve a political transition.  And Russia has to be at the table helping that to occur.  The Syrian people want and deserve change," she said. 

 

Speaking Sunday in Stockholm, she says she made clear to her Russia counterpart that there is no point to any meeting unless it includes all aspects of the plan led by U.N. and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan, focusing on a political transition in Damascus.

 

"Assad's departure does not have to be a precondition, but it should be an outcome so that the people of Syria have a chance to express themselves," she said. 

 

Appealing for Russia's help with a Syrian political transition follows a week in which Clinton slammed Moscow for continuing to sell weapons to Syria.  That brought a sharp response from President Vladimir Putin, who said Russia "does not provide weapons that could be used in a civil conflict" and has not taken sides in the violence.

 

Clinton says Russian opposition is making it harder to put together an international coalition against President Assad.  She says Foreign Minister Lavrov has spoken of the ongoing political transition in Yemen as an example of something that might work in Syria.  That, she says, would require much more active participation from Moscow.

 

"It took a lot of time and effort with a number of countries who were involved at the table working to achieve a political transition.  And we would like to see the same occur in Syria," she said. 

 

During her talks in Stockholm, Clinton discussed the Syrian conflict with Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Bildt, Defense Minister Karin Enstrom, and Prime Minister Frederik Reinfeldt.  The prime minister says Sweden backs what he calls "the urgent need to stop the terrible violence by the Assad regime against his own people."

 

"The international pressure on the regime to stop the killings must be maintained, including by sanctions.  Those guilty of crimes must be held accountable.  And we must continue to work to get humanitarian aid to people in need, and of course to support the political transition in line with the Kofi Annan plan," he said. 

 

Clinton meets in Turkey Wednesday with Syrian neighbors who she says are "particularly anxious about what is happening in Syria, fearful that we could see a full-fledged civil war with consequences that would bring in the rest of the region in ways that could be quite dangerous and are certainly unpredictable."

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid