U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton stressed Wednesday that the U.S. is actively seeking ways to stop the fighting in Syria, and welcomed reports that Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi has announced that Syria is willing to declare a truce during the Muslim feast of Eid Al-Adha (from 26 to 29 October).
“Now we’re looking forward to hearing the details of Special Envoy Brahimi’s report to the UN Security Council today. We have been in close touch with him and his team. We support his call for a ceasefire for the Eid al-Adha holiday so that Syrians could celebrate in peace,” Clinton said, adding, “We’d like to see the violence come to an end, there’s no doubt about this, and we’d like to see a political transition take hold and begin.”
ccording to Clinton, who made the remarks while attending a press conference with Brazil’s Foreign Minister Antonio de Aguiar Patriota, the US has been calling for a cease-fire for more than a year.
“We worked very hard in Geneva, as you know, some months ago to come up with a framework for ending the violence and beginning a political transition. And we would like to see the Security Council adopt such a framework, but to include some consequences for all parties in the event that there is not a ceasefire respected or a political transition begun,” Clinton said.
Clinton acknowledged that the US is increasingly supporting the Syrian opposition, but insisted that this is nonlethal assistance and training, and includes “working directly with local councils inside Syria so that they can learn what they need to do to serve their people in areas that they have taken over from the regime.”
Clinton also hinted that the government is already thinking of a future Syrian government, noting that the U.S. is “working extremely hard and closely with a number of like-minded countries to help support a leadership council to come out of meetings beginning in Doha in a few weeks so that we can have a leadership structure that endorses inclusion, democratic process, peaceful political transition, and reassure all Syrians, particularly those who are in minority groups, that there is a path forward if everyone supports it.”
According to Clinton, the US is concerned that there be a “credible interlocutor representing the opposition and prevent extremists from hijacking a brave revolution that is meant to fulfill the aspirations of the Syrian people.”
With regard to the bombing in Lebanon, Clinton said that government has requested the US to provide FBI investigative services.
“We don’t want to see a vacuum of legitimate political authority that could then be taken advantage of by the Syrians or by others that could create even greater instability and violence,” Clinton said, adding, “So we call on all parties in Lebanon to support the process that President Suleiman is leading to choose a responsible, effective government that can address the threats that Syria faces and hold accountable those responsible for last week’s bombing.”
“The Lebanese people deserve so much better. They deserve to live in peace and they deserve to have a government that reflects their aspirations, not acts as proxies and agents for outside forces,” Clinton said.