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Plan to end Syrian crisis hits standstill
Russia objects to key conditions
Bassma Kodmani, a Paris-based spokeswoman for the main opposition group, the Syrian National Council, said the agreement is “ambiguous” and lacks a mechanism or timetable for implementation.
Western officials say they expect Russia and China, which have blocked U.N. action on Syria, to make the case to Mr. Assad that he needs to step down for the good of his country. They hope, as Mrs. Clinton said Saturday, that Mr. Assad will “see the writing on the wall” and remove himself from the equation.
So far, though, neither has shown any inclination to back away from defending Mr. Assad.
Mrs. Clinton and her Western counterparts will take the Annan plan to a meeting of the Friends of Syria group in Paris on Friday to get a broader endorsement of the deal. They hope that will raise the pressure on Russia and China to convince Mr. Assad of the need to get the transition started.
Should that fail and the process remain stalled, they intend to return to the U.N. Security Council for a resolution that would compel compliance.
The Syrian National Council said nearly 800 people were killed in violence across the country in the past week and that more than 14,000 people have died in the 15-month-old uprising against Mr. Assad’s rule.
The conflict is threatening to spill into neighboring countries after Syria shot down a warplane from Turkey, which responded by setting up anti-aircraft guns along the border.
Why such hatred toward America's freedom of religion?
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