Thursday, May 31, 2012
Addressing students in Denmark, Mrs Clinton urged Russia to use its influence on Mr Assad to curb the fighting.
"The Syrians are not going to listen to us. They will listen - maybe - to the Russians, so we have to keep pushing them," she said.
Russian officials, added Mrs Clinton, "are telling me they don't want to see a civil war. I have been telling them their policy is going help to contribute to a civil war." Western governments believe that diplomatic cover afforded by the Kremlin has emboldened Mr Assad and encouraged him to resist pressure to negotiate a settlement of the conflict.
Earlier, Susan Rice, the American ambassador to the UN, said that Russia's veto-wielding membership of the Security Council would not necessarily prevent international action. If the violence worsened and the peace plan proposed by Kofi Annan, the former UN secretary general, made no progress, some countries would consider whether to bypass Russian and Chinese opposition in the UN. more