At Paris meeting, US Secretary of State Clinton lambasted Russia, China for 'blockading' progress. The meeting came amid news that a top Syrian general has defected.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used an international bully pulpit in Paris to urge some 100 international diplomats to “reach out” to Russia and China and “demand they get off the sidelines” of the Syrian crisis.
“I don’t think Russia and China believe they are paying any price at all for standing up for the Assad regime,” Ms. Clinton said in a “Friends of the Syrian People” meeting held this morning in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower.
The meeting comes amid the defection of leading Syrian Gen. Manaf Tlass, commander of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's Republican Guard, and whose father headed the Syrian Defense ministry for more than 20 years. French officials said the general was en route to Paris.
Yet in Paris, with Syrian cities under siege, with Russia and China not in attendance, and with the UN observer mission of Kofi Annan suspended for two months, it is unclear whether the Paris group can do much more than offer marginal help and moral support.