Clinton: US considering sanctions against Syria

Before meeting of anti-Gaddafi coalition, Clinton says Middle East upheaval sign that bin Laden's ideology is being rejected.

Hilary Clinton Libya background 311 (photo credit: REUTERS/Toby Melville)
Hilary Clinton Libya background 311
(photo credit: REUTERS/Toby Melville)
ROME - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Thursday that the US and Italy have discussed sanctions against Syria.
In a joint news conference with Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini after breakfast talks, Clinton expressed deep concern over the situation in Syria, saying that Syrian President Bashar Assad must stop violence against his own people.
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Frattini said that he and Clinton had also discussed sanctions against Syria's government because of its violent suppression of unrest.
Possible sanctions included the suspension of cooperation talks with the European Union and travel restrictions on senior Syrian officials.
Clinton said the Rome meeting of more than 20 countries in an anti-Gaddafi coalition would discuss ways of providing financial and other aid to rebels who have been fighting since February to end the Libyan leader's 41-year rule.
She also said that the US relationship with Pakistan is not always easy but has been productive for both sides.
The discovery that the al Qaeda leader was able to live for years in the military garrison town of Abbottabad, just north of the Pakistani capital, has raised doubt in the United States about whether Pakistan was a reliable ally against militants.
Clinton acknowledged that Washington's relationship with Islamabad was awkward at times, but said it was still important.
"It is not always an easy relationship, you know that," Clinton said, ahead of a meeting in Rome of a NATO-backed coalition against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
"But on the other hand it is a productive one for both our countries and we are going to continue to cooperate between our governments, our militaries, our law-enforcement agencies but most importantly between the American and Pakistani people."
Uprisings against authoritarian rulers across the Middle East and North Africa showed that bin Laden's ideas were being rejected, Clinton said. "His ideology of hatred and violence is thankfully being rejected in what we see going on in the Middle East and North Africa as people are protesting largely peacefully for a better future."