Go now, Hillary tells Assad

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday pushed for a full transfer of power in Syria from the regime of President Bashar al-Assad despite opposition from Russia and China.

After a late-night strategy session on Wednesday with Arab and European foreign ministers and meetings on Thursday morning with Turkish leaders, Clinton turned her attention to the UN and the opposition from Russia and China.

“We can’t break faith with the Syrian people who want real change,” a senior State Department official said, explaining the strategy Clinton set out in the closed-door gathering of regional and European powers. The secretary set forth “essential elements and principles that we believe should guide that post-Assad transition strategy, including Assad’s full transfer of power,” the official added.

Other elements include “the establishment of a fully representative and inclusive interim government which leads to free and fair elections, a ceasefire to be observed by all, and equality for all Syrians under the law.”

Clinton’s latest initiative comes against the backdrop of fresh reports of massacres in Syria and growing fears in the region of a descent into a destabilising civil war.

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