US, allies start work on transition plan for Syria

June 7, 2012 • World News

FILE – In this April 25, 2012 file photo, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner speaks in Portland, Ore. The Obama administration is warning Syria that U.N. sanctions may be near, as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton heads Wednesday to Turkey to talk strategy with America’s allies and look for a way to win Russia’s support for a transition plan ending the Assad regime. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

ISTANBUL (AP) — The United States and its allies in Europe, Turkey and the Arab world have agreed to work on a political transition plan for Syria, hoping to persuade President Bashar Assad’s powerful ally Russia to join a broadened diplomatic effort to ease the embattled leader out of power, a senior U.S. official said.

The push for a structured end to the four-decade Assad regime came late Wednesday at a closed-door meeting of foreign ministers and other top officials in Istanbul, including U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. It also coincided with fresh reports of a surge in bloodshed in Syria’s central Hama province. At least 23 people were killed, with one activist group reporting as many as 86 dead.

Clinton, according to the U.S. official, outlined a set of principles to guide the post-Assad transition strategy. But with neither Russia nor China present, and both remaining hostile to the idea of global sanctions against the Syrian government or any Libya-style military intervention, it was Login to read more

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