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Clinton urges Security Council to Act on Syria

Clinton will join other top officials at the United Nations including French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe, British Foreign Secretary William Hague and Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi, who on Saturday announced a suspension of an Arab monitoring mission to Syria due to escalating violence.

“The regime has failed to meet its commitments to the Arab League to halt its acts of violence, withdraw its military forces from residential areas, allow journalists and monitors to operate freely and release prisoners arrested because of the current unrest,” Clinton said.

But Russia, a main military supplier to Syria, has said that it will use its veto against a draft Security Council resolution, pointing to language against arms deliveries.

Russia has suggested that Assad and the opposition meet in Moscow for “informal contacts” without any preconditions.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said that the United States supported a political solution in Syria but was “intensely discussing” with Russia the “real deterioration on the ground.”

“We’re discussing with the Russians and other partners how best to use all the levers at the command of the international community and the United Nations to press the Syrian government to stop its appalling and, ultimately, ineffective and harmful repression,” Carney told reporters.

Human rights groups say that more than 5,400 people have died in Syria, including 80 on Sunday alone, as Assad cracks down on the latest in a wave of Arab uprisings that have overthrown authoritarian leaders in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia.

Copyright © 2012 AFP

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