Wednesday, June 6, 2012

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton threw cold water on a Russian proposal for a meeting on Syria that would include Iran

* Russia proposed broad meeting on Syria to include Iran

* Clinton heading to Istanbul meeting on Syria (Adds quotes, background, details)

BAKU, June 6 (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton threw cold water on a Russian proposal for a meeting on Syria that would include Iran, saying it was "a little hard to imagine inviting a country that is stage-managing Assad regime's assault on its people".

President Bashar al-Assad is fighting a 15-month-old revolt by peaceful protesters and armed insurgents, in which the United Nations says more than 10,000 people have been killed.

Clinton, speaking in Azerbaijan on Wednesday before departing for a conference on Syria in Istanbul, said participants would discuss "the essential elements of a democratic transition strategy (for Syria)".

"It is time for all of us to turn our attention to an orderly transition of power in Syria that paves the way for a democratic, tolerant, pluralistic future. It's clear that President Assad cannot and has failed to bring peace, stability or positive change to the Syrian people, and in fact has worked against all three," she said before boarding the plane. Read More