Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

A landslide victory for the 'invisible candidate' in Algeria's Presidential polls

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014 (part 2)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Presidential adviser resigns over "shoe-shine scandal"

Read more

#THE 51%

Breaking stereotypes

Read more

#TECH 24

Galaxy S5 v. HTC One (M8): Which is the right one for you?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

New PM Manuel Valls outlines priorities

Read more

FASHION

Jean-Marc Loubier, bags and shoes.

Read more

ENCORE!

Hip-hop musician Beat Assailant on mixing the sounds of the city

Read more

  • French journalists abducted in Syria freed

    Read more

  • Le Pen’s National Front fail to woo Britain’s Eurosceptics

    Read more

  • South Korea ferry captain defends decision to delay evacuation

    Read more

  • In pictures: French kite festival takes flight

    Read more

  • VIDEO: Anti-Semitic leaflets in Eastern Ukraine condemned

    Read more

  • In pictures: Good Friday celebrated across the globe

    Read more

  • Bouteflika, the ghost president

    Read more

  • Does Valls’ upcoming Vatican trip violate French secularism?

    Read more

  • Ukraine separatists say ‘not bound’ by Geneva deal

    Read more

  • Abel Ferrara’s hotly awaited DSK film to premiere on web

    Read more

  • Obama signs bill to block controversial Iran diplomat from UN post

    Read more

  • Ukraine: ‘One bloody incident could scupper Geneva deal’

    Read more

  • Astronomers discover Earth-like planet that could support life

    Read more

  • Indian election: Votes for sale

    Read more

  • World honours Garcia Marquez’s magical literary legacy

    Read more

  • In pictures: Iranian woman pardons son’s killer at the gallows

    Read more

  • Algeria's ailing Bouteflika clinches fourth term amid fraud claims

    Read more

  • Top Hollande adviser resigns over conflict of interest accusation

    Read more

  • West African Ebola outbreak caused by new strain of virus

    Read more

  • Mob launches deadly attack on UN shelter for S. Sudan civilians

    Read more

  • Stagehand of God? Maradona's legendary goal inspires a play

    Read more

Middle east

Swift end to Assad regime top priority, Clinton says

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-08-12

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Washington’s top goal was to “hasten the end of the bloodshed and the Assad regime” during talks with Turkey’s foreign minister on Saturday. Clinton was in Istanbul to discuss the deepening Syrian crisis.

AFP - Fresh sanctions slapped by the United States are meant to "expose and disrupt" links between Iran, Lebanon's armed Hezbollah movement and Syria, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Saturday.

She said the "number one goal" of Washington and Ankara was to hasten the end of Bashar al-Assad's regime in Damascus and stop the bloodshed, while warning that Syria must not become a haven for Kurdish rebels battling Turkey.

Arab ministers to discuss Syria conflict, next UN-Arab League envoy

Arab ministers will meet in Saudi Arabia on Sunday (Aug. 12) to mull their next moves on the Syrian conflict and discuss who will succeed UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan, who resigned earlier this month, a top Arab League official said.

The foreign ministers' meeting in the Red Sea city of Jeddah will discuss the "latest developments in Syria and what policy action to take" after Annan's announcement on August 2 that he was stepping down, the Arab bloc's deputy secretary-general, Ahmed Ben Helli, said.

Diplomats at the United Nations have tipped veteran Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi, a former top Arab League official, as a likely candidate for the post. France's UN Ambassador Gérard Araud said Friday that a replacement could be named early next week.

(Source: AFP)

"We are continuing to increase pressure from outside," Clinton told a joint press conference in Istanbul after meeting Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Syrian opposition activists.

"Yesterday in Washington we announced sanctions designed to expose and disrupt the links between Iran, Hezbollah and Syria that prolong the life of the Assad regime."

Washington on Friday announced sanctions against Syrian state oil company Sytrol for trading with Iran, in a bid to starve both Tehran and Damascus of much-needed revenue.

The US Treasury also said it was adding the Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah, which has close ties with Iran and Syria, to a blacklist of organisations targeted under Syria-related sanctions.

Washington already classes Hezbollah a "terrorist organisation" and it is under US sanctions, but Friday's move explicitly ties the group to the violence in Syria, where Assad is attempting to put down a 17-month revolt.

The sanctions are designed to increase pressure on Damascus as the conflict escalates sharply after the failure of former UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan's peace plan and his dramatic resignation.

World powers are expected to name veteran Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi as their new envoy for Syria early next week.

Clinton was also due to discuss with Turkey's leaders ways to effectively enforce sanctions against Syria and accelerate efforts for the fall of the Assad regime.

"Our goal number one is to hasten the end of the bloodshed and the Assad regime, that is our strategic goal," she said.

Turkey, once a close ally of Syria, has become a vocal opponent of the regime since it launched a brutal crackdown on dissent in March last year.

It has imposed its own sanctions, taken in tens of thousands of refugees and allowed the rebel Free Syrian Army to operate from its soil.

Praising Turkey's leadership in the Syrian conflict, Clinton also said she shared Ankara's determination to prevent the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) from using the neighbouring country as a base.

"We share Turkey's determination that Syria must not become a haven for PKK terorrists whether now or after the departure of the Assad regime," Clinton said.

The Democratic Union Party (PYD), the Syrian ally of the PKK, has reportedly taken over several towns along Turkey's border with Syria, alarming Ankara, which promptly increased defences on the border.

"We need to take joint efforts to prevent a power vacuum from being formed" which could be exploited by the PKK, Davutoglu said.

Clinton also met with Syrian activists and refugees, who she said were committed to "a free, inclusive and democratic Syria" but need support from the international community to be ready for the eventual fall of the Assad regime.

"We share the frustration, anger and outrage of the Syrian people," she said while predicting that more and more refugees would flee the country because of brutality which "knows no bounds" on the part of government forces.

She announced an additional $5.5 million in aid for those fleeing fighting that monitoring groups say has now claimed over 21,000 lives.

Turkey is currently home to some 55,000 refugees living in camps along the Syrian border, with close to 10,000 seeking safety this week alone amid intensifying battles between regime forces and rebels for Syria's second city of Aleppo.

Clinton flew into Istanbul early Saturday from Benin after wrapping up a marathon 11-day, nine-nation Africa tour.

 

Date created : 2012-08-11

  • SYRIA

    Syrian forces shell Aleppo as blasts strike Damascus

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    US readies fresh sanctions against Syria

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    Brahimi touted to replace Annan as Syria envoy

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)