The United States and the international community have endorsed a plan for a democratic transition in Syria. It aims to end the violence that has killed close to 15,000 people since March 2011, 800 in the last week alone, and pave the way for a post-Bashar al-Assad unity government.
The guidelines for a Syrian-led transition, include a democratic Syria that upholds the rule of law and respects the universal rights of all people; maintaining the integrity of the Syrian state; the formation of a transitional governing body; and an inclusive and transparent Syrian-led process to review the constitution and prepare for free elections.
The United States and others will take this plan to the Friends of the Syrian People in Paris and seek to build a greater international consensus. “As long as Assad continues to wage war against the Syrian people – and he himself now calls this a war,” said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, “the international community must keep ratcheting up the pressure on the regime to halt the violence and do more to provide humanitarian assistance to civilians in need.”
Secretary Clinton called on every nation to use all possible leverage to pressure both the Syrian regime and the opposition to accept and support the Annan plan. “Those states that carry influence with the Syrian government,” said Secretary of State Clinton, “should insist that Assad halt the violence, accept the transition principles, and comply with his obligations under the plan.”
Finally, the United States and its partners will work to pass a Security Council resolution that would reaffirm Annan’s six-point plan obligating the regime to stop its attacks and pull back its troops, and impose immediate consequences for noncompliance, including sanctions.
The stakes of inaction by the international community are just too high, said Secretary Clinton. If Syria spirals further into civil war, not only will more civilians die, not only will more refugees stream across the borders, but instability will most certainly spill into neighboring states.
The Syrian people deserve U.S. support and the support of every nation, so we will press ahead, said Secretary Clinton, pursuing every diplomatic avenue, and playing a leadership role in resolving this crisis that has gone on too long.