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Bashar al Assad has lost legitimacy to govern Syria: Hillary Clinton

Washington: The authoritarian Syrian regime is responsible for killing more than 2,000 people in the country, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said and reiterated that President Bashar al-Assad has lost legitimacy to govern Syrian people.

"We think to date, the (Syrian) government is responsible for the deaths of more than 2,000 people of all ages, and the US has worked very hard to corral and focus international opinion to take steps toward a unified response to the atrocities that are occurring," Clinton told reporters at a news conference with her Canadian counterpart here.

Clinton said the US is working very hard to increase the international will on this issue. AFP

"We stand fully behind the UN Security Council presidential statement, which was agreed to last evening, which condemns the widespread violation of human rights and the use of force against civilians by Syrian authorities," she said yesterday.

Clinton said Assad has lost his legitimacy to govern the Syrian people.

"We call, along with the UN Security Council, on the authorities to end all violence against affected towns, comply with their obligations under applicable international law, allow immediate and unfettered access for international humanitarian agencies and workers," she said.

A rooftop view of people marching and chanting anti-government slogans on a street in Douma, in the suburbs of Damascus. Reuters

"We continue to support the Syrians themselves in their efforts to begin a peaceful and orderly transition to democracy," Clinton said.

On Tuesday, Clinton along with a group of US-based Syrian activists and members of the Syrian-American community expressed her solidarity and sympathy for all Syrian victims of Assad regime’s abuses.

"We are seized of the concerns posed by what is happening in Syria, and we know that it’s taken time to pull together a broader international coalition to speak out against what is happening in Syria," she said.

"We are committed to doing all we can to increase the pressure, including additional sanctions, but not just US sanctions, because frankly, we don’t have a lot of business with Syria," Clinton added.

"We need to get Europeans and others. We need to get the Arab states. We need to get a much louder, more effective chorus of voices that are putting pressure on the Assad regime, and we’re working to obtain that," the Secretary of State said.

Clinton said the US is working very hard to increase the international will on this issue.

"What happened last night in the Security Council could not have happened a week ago. So in effect, other governments, other people’s voices are starting to be heard, and we think that’s essential," she said.

PTI