Stepped up diplomatic activity may further antagonize Russia and China, who issued a statement on Wednesday opposing any outside efforts to promote regime change in Syria.
/Edlib News Network ENN/AP
A group of 60 countries led by the United States called for stronger sanctions against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad Wednesday, on the eve of a meeting in Istanbul where the Friends of Syria group will consider means of precipitating Mr. Assad’s departure from power.
The flurry of diplomatic activity comes in what US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner described at Wednesday’s meeting in Washington as “the shadow of a massacre” after last month’s killings of more than 100 civilians in the city of Houla.
But the calls for a tightening squeeze on Assad also continue to hit the by-now familiar wall of resistance from Russia and China, which oppose additional measures against the Syrian regime. The two powers issued a statement Wednesday rejecting any outside efforts to promote regime change in Syria.