Clinton warns Assad of extra measures if peace plan fails

Clinton warns Assad of extra measures if peace plan fails

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of tougher measures if he squanders his “last chance” by failing to implement the Kofi Annan peace plan.

Either the international community succeeds in “pushing forward” Annan’s six-point plan or “we see Assad squandering his last chance before additional measures have to be considered”, Clinton said.

She talked of increased sanctions but declined to answer a question on whether it was fine for other countries to arm the rebels — a stand taken by Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Speaking after talks with NATO foreign and defence ministers in Brussels, Clinton simply said the United States “is not providing lethal arms” to the opposition and is instead sending communications equipment and other non-lethal aid to them.

France said that 14 foreign ministers, including Clinton, would attend a meeting on Syria in Paris on Thursday to send a “strong” message to Assad’s regime to implement the Annan plan.

Clinton said she looked forward to her consultations in Paris.

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