Clinton calls on world nations to speak out against Assad

US secretary of state says sanctions needed on Syria's oil and gas industry; Obama, Erdogan confer on Syria violence.

By REUTERS
August 11, 2011 23:24
1 minute read.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

hillary clinton_311 reuters. (photo credit: REUTERS/Tony Gentile)

 
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US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, asked why the United States has not yet called for Syria's president to step down, said Washington wants other nations to add their voices, according to an interview by the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley released on Thursday.

Clinton's comments came as Syria continued a violent crackdown on anti-regime protesters, killing 11 people in a raid on a northern town on Thursday.

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The United States has been "very clear" in its statements about Syrian President Bashar Assad's loss of legitimacy, Clinton said, according to excerpts of the CBS interview.

"But it's important that it's not just the American voice. And we want to make sure those voices are coming from around the world," she said.

Clinton also said what was necessary to pressure Assad was to sanction Syria's oil and gas industry.

"And we want to see Europe take more steps in that direction. And we want to see China take steps with us," she said. "There's no doubt in anyone's mind where the United States stands."

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Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan spoke on Thursday about the violence in Syria and agreed that citizen demands for a transition to democracy must be met, the White House said.

"The two leaders underscored the urgency of the situation, reiterated their deep concern about the Syrian government's use of violence against civilians and their belief that the Syrian people's legitimate demands for a transition to democracy should be met," the White House said in a statement.

"They agreed on the need for an immediate halt of all bloodshed and violence against the Syrian people."

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