U.S. encouraging Syrian opposition

Aug. 3, 2011 at 12:51 PM

WASHINGTON, Aug. 3 (UPI) -- Syrian activists in the United States are encouraged to work with allies back home to chart a united vision for transition, Washington said.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met in Washington with members of the Syrian opposition in the United States.

The Syrian government is using military force to quiet demonstrations against the regime. Clinton, after meeting with opposition leaders, said Washington has "nothing invested" in a Syrian government that chooses to use force to stay in power.

She said she was encouraging the opposition leaders in the Syrian-American community to work with their colleagues back home to create a unified vision of a transition plan for Syria.

Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said in a statement that European leaders have sent a strong statement to Damascus by recalling ambassadors and imposing new sanctions against the regime.

He said that while his country supported U.N. Security Council action on Syria, states like Russia, China and India fear any such action could led to another protracted situation like the one unfolding in Libya.

Clinton called on opponents in the Security Council to reconsider their action.

"Our view remains that strong action by the Security Council on the targeting of innocent civilians in Syria is long overdue," she said.

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