Now that the international community and opposition groups have clearly rejected President Bashar Al Assad involvement in a political transition to end the ongoing violence in Syria, Assad allies like Russia and China must call on the Syrian President to step aside, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said after a Friends of Syria meeting in Paris Friday.
Russian and American officials disagree on the interpretation of a UN deal reached in Geneva last Saturday that outlines a framework for a political solution to the 16 month crisis. The US says the agreement allows the opposition to veto the Syrian President’s membership to a transitional government, while Moscow argues calls for a unity government do not preclude Assad’s involvement.
“Here in Paris, more than one hundred nations and organizations endorsed that plan[in Geneva] and dispelled any doubt about Assad’s role in a transition. He has none.” the U.S. Secretary of State told reporters Friday.
Clinton said it was time for Syrian allies like Russia and China to stop shielding the regime, and use their leverage to convince Assad to step down.
“The entire world is now looking to those few nations that still have influence in Damascus.” she said. “Sitting on the sidelines – or even worse, enabling the regime’s brutality – would be a grievous mistake.”