TALLINN, Estonia, April 22 (UPI) -- Sending a U.S. ambassador to Damascus could help the United States influence the Syrian government, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday.
Clinton was questioned about Syria after a meeting with her Estonian counterpart, Urmas Paet in Tallinn. A reporter asked about the U.S. policy of engaging Syria after a period of "provocative behavior," including possibly supplying Scud missiles to Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Clinton responded the Obama administration has concluded after debating Syrian policy that engagement is the correct path. She added that an ambassador would be able to convey U.S. concerns about Syria's role in Lebanon and its relationship with Israel.
"This is not some kind of reward for the Syrians and the actions that they take, which are deeply disturbing not only to the United States and not just to Israel but to others in the region and beyond," she said. "But it's a tool. It's a tool that we believe can give us extra leverage, added insight, analysis, information with respect to Syria's actions and intentions."