WASHINGTON - The US State Department said on Saturday that the sooner a political transition occurs in Syria the higher the odds of preventing a long and bloody civil war.

"We are consulting with our international partners regarding next steps toward a Syrian-led political transition as called for in Security Council Resolutions 2042 and 2043," it said in a statement that echoed one issued by the White House after the suspension of a UN monitoring mission's activities in Syria.

"The sooner this transition takes place, the greater the chance of averting a lengthy and bloody sectarian civil war," the State Department spokeswoman added in the statement.

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