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

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory 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.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid