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Rice And Clinton On Syria

United States Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks to reporters after attending a Security Council meeting on the situation in Syria, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012 at United Nations headquarters.

“The international community should send a clear message of support to the Syrian people: we stand with you."

Despite the fact that the Assad regime in Syria signed a protocol with the Arab League pledging to withdraw its military forces from residential areas, to stop its acts of violence and to release prisoners arrested because of the current unrest, the fighting and bloodshed are increasing and the situation in Syria continues to deteriorate. And even as the Arab League calls for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to delegate power and for a government of national unity, escalating violence has forced it to suspend its monitoring mission in Syria.

“The Assad regime is ignoring its commitments to the Arab League plan, including by failing to end all acts of violence and to protect Syrian civilians,” said U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Susan Rice in a recent speech before the UN Security Council. “Scores of civilians are killed every day. Thousands of political detainees remain incarcerated across the country, many at serious risk of torture. As a result of the regime’s failure to fulfill the requirements of the Arab League plan, there are more and more calls from the region for Security Council involvement.”

“The United States fully supports the Syrian people’s demands for a democratic, representative, and inclusive government that respects human rights and provides equal protection under the law for all citizens, regardless of sect, ethnicity or gender,” said Ambassador Rice.

In a written statement, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that “The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms the escalation of the Syrian regime’s violent and brutal attacks on its own people. . . .

“The Security Council must act and make clear to the Syrian regime that the world community views its actions as a threat to peace and security. The violence must end, so that a new period of democratic transition can begin,” said Secretary Clinton.

“The international community should send a clear message of support to the Syrian people: we stand with you. The Arab League is backing a resolution that calls on the international community to support its ongoing efforts, because the status quo is unsustainable. The longer the Assad regime continues its attacks on the Syrian people and stands in the way of a peaceful transition, the greater the concern that instability will escalate and spill over throughout the region.”