News / USA

Clinton Urges Planning for Post-Assad Syria

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during the U.S.-South Africa Strategic Dialogue in Pretoria, August 7, 2012.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during the U.S.-South Africa Strategic Dialogue in Pretoria, August 7, 2012.
TEXT SIZE - +
Anne Look
PRETORIA  — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the defection of the Syrian prime minister and other officials, as well as escalating fighting around Aleppo, make it "urgent" to plan for what comes once the regime of Bashar al-Assad falls.

Clinton, who stopped in Pretoria, South Africa, as part of a 10-day tour of Africa, said the days of the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, are numbered, and the priority now is to end the bloodshed and prepare the political transition.

"The intensity of the fighting in Aleppo, the defections really point out how imperative it is that we come together and work toward a good transition plan," said Clinton. "We can begin talking about and planning for what happens next, the day after the regime does fall. I'm not going to put a timeline on it. I can't possibly predict it, but I know it's going to happen as do most observers around the world."

Clinton issued warnings to both the rebels and the government.

"We have to make sure the state institutions stay intact. We have to make sure that we send very clear expectations about avoiding sectarian warfare," said Clinton. "Those who are attempting to exploit the misery of the Syrian people either by sending in proxies or sending in terrorist fighters must recognize that that will not be tolerated first and foremost by the Syrian people.  

The secretary spoke in Pretoria as part of the second annual U.S.-South Africa Strategic Dialogue, where the secretary was expected to push for South Africa's support on the United Nations Security Council to deal with the deepening crisis in Syria.

South Africa abstained from voting on a third effort by the U.N. Security Council to pass a resolution that would have held President Assad responsible for his failure to abide by peace envoy Kofi Annan's peace plan and threatened him with sanctions. South Africa's abstention effectively backed Russia and China's veto.

South Africa said the resolution was biased in favor of the rebels.

South African foreign minister, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, said Tuesday the country's position remains unchanged.

"The sooner we quicken our steps as the international community to support these people of Syria, the better," said Nkoana-Mashabane. "But nothing will ever take the place of the Syrians themselves coming up with a "Made in Syria" solution to their problem, supported by the international community."

Clinton stressed the need for international cooperation to meet the "desperate humanitarian needs" of those caught in the violence as well as those who have fled during what she called this "very difficult time for the people of Syria."

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

36 people are confirmed dead, but some 266 remain trapped on board More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid