Russia, American slam Assad: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday that Washington believed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government was responsible for more than 2,000 deaths in its crackdown on peaceful protests.
Clinton repeated that the United States believed Assad has lost legitimacy in Syria, and said the US and its allies were working on strategies to apply more pressure beyond new sanctions announced on Thursday.
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Earlier Thursday, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said he has warned Syria's ruler that he will face a "sad fate" if he fails to introduce reforms in his country and open a peaceful dialogue with the opposition.
In remarks carried by Russian news agencies, Medvedev said he has delivered this message to Syrian President Bashar Assad. An offensive by Syrian forces against anti-government dissent in the city of Hama, backed by tanks and snipers, has killed scores of people since Sunday.
Tough talk from Medvedev (Archive photo: Reuters)
"Regrettably, large numbers of people are dying there. That causes us grave concern," Medvedev was quoted as saying.
"That's why both on a personal level and in the letters I sent to him (Assad) I have emphasized that it's necessary to urgently conduct reforms, negotiate with the opposition, restore civil peace, and create a modern state.
"If he fails to do that, he will face a sad fate. And in the end we will also have to make some decisions. We are watching how the situation is developing. It's changing, and our approach is changing as well," the Russian leader said.
The US and European members of the UN Security Council had been pressing for months for a legally binding resolution that would strongly condemn Syria.
Associated Press and Reuters contributed to the story
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