'Obama, Saudi king urge end to Assad's crackdown'

Leaders meet in White House, agree to hold close consultations about the Syrian situation in the coming days.

Obama Saudi Abdullah 311 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Obama Saudi Abdullah 311
(photo credit: REUTERS)
WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama and Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah on Saturday called for an immediate end to the Syrian government's crackdown on protests against President Bashar Assad, the White House said.
The two leaders spoke and "agreed that the Syrian regime's brutal campaign of violence against the Syrian people must end immediately, and to continue close consultations about the situation in the days ahead," the White House said in a statement.
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Syrian troops killed at least one person as they swept into a coastal city on Saturday, activists said, the latest action in a military campaign that activists say has killed 1,700 civilians in five months.
The United States has stopped short of calling for Assad to step down from power, but it slapped additional sanctions on Syria earlier this week and urged countries to stop buying Syrian oil and gas.
King Abdullah on Monday called for an end to the bloodshed in Syria and recalled his ambassador from Damascus.
Saturday's killing in the Syrian seaside city of Latakia came a day after security forces shot dead 20 people during nationwide marches demanding that Assad surrender power.
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