World leaders urge end to Syrian violence

2011-08-13 23:21

Washington – US President Barack Obama reached out to the leaders of Britain and Saudi Arabia on Saturday to build consensus for an end to the violent crackdown by Syria's government.

The White House said Obama spoke separately to British Prime Minister David Cameron and Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah, both of whom agreed with Obama that Syrian President Bashar Assad's government must end its attacks on civilians.

While the US has repeatedly condemned the violence in Syria and said Assad has lost legitimacy, the Obama administration has stopped short of explicitly calling for him to leave power.

A US official told The Associated Press on Friday that the demand for Assad to step down would come "sooner rather than later".

Some of the administration's hesitation reflects concern about adopting a more aggressive tone without adequate support from European allies and Arab partners.

The White House said Obama and Cameron agreed to closely monitor the actions of the Syrian government and consult on further steps in the coming days. The Saudi king also agreed to consult with Obama closely, the White House said.

The US issued new penalties against Syria last week, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has also called for a global trade embargo on oil and gas from the Middle East nation.

Anti-government protests in Syria have grown dramatically over the past five months, driven in part by anger over the government's bloody crackdown in which rights groups say at least 1 700 civilians have been killed.

  • meelo - 2011-08-13 23:59

    Why hasnt US and and its compadrees sent troops to Syria Double standards

      slg - 2011-08-14 01:42

      It's not as simple as that. Unfortunately international alliances are not strong enough yet. There's also the ongoing campaign in Libya and the global recession that's distracting. I suspect if the US had it's way, it would be there already, supporting the defenseless civilians demanding change from Asad's brutal rule. I'm hoping Gadhafi will fall soon (preferably surrender). Then international attention can fall squarely on that murderer Asad and his cronies. The Iran. That's going to be a good one. A bunch of thugs who think they can hijack a country for themselves.

      Martin du Plessis - 2011-08-14 10:55

      Also, the moment the US/UN/any western country even think about armed interference against the Syrian Regime, Iran will INSTANTLY step in on the syrian side with military force, since they are SUCH good buddies and all that, not to mention the radicals in the middle east will instantly se eit as a new crusade. 3rd world war.

      beicime - 2011-08-14 12:27

      Assad and the Generals know what is happening to Egypt and Tunisia's former leaders. Why would they volunteer to the same fate?

      Pierre - 2012-03-18 02:18

      Why did the world not speak up when the US sent troops to Iraq?

      Fred - 2012-03-18 02:25

      Zzzzzzzzzz ("Pierre")

      Pierre - 2012-03-19 06:21

      Fred, are you paid by the CIA? Just asking.

  • beicime - 2011-08-14 12:26

    Assad and the Generals know what is happening to Egypt and Tunisia's former leaders. Why would they volunteer to the same fate?

  • Anton - 2011-08-14 16:42

    It is costing many lives, but there is no stopping of , "The Arab Awakening" Many of these dictators are turning into tyrants and are prepared to kill ALL, for them to stay in power. It is a disgrace, that the ones with military capability, Nato, the Russians and the Chinese, allow these leaders to slauther their people. One should go to the embassies of these countries and DEMAND that they protect these civilians!!!!!

  • Pierre - 2012-03-18 02:30

    Speaking of the Middle East and North Africa, why was so little reported about the suicide of Amina Filali? Many of these countries including allies of the US in the region, have the same laws that drove her to suicide. A rape victim is forced to marry her rapist; in some places even if the woman does not marry her rapist she can be jailed for being raped. Truly absurd. (Yes you can accuse me of being off topic.)

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