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Clinton: No troops in Syria without Assad’s consent

• February 14, 2012 10:43 am

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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says international troops will not be put in Syria unless the Syrian regime agrees to them. Clinton met with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu Monday in Washington, D.C.  Foreign Policy reports:

Following the meeting, (Clinton and Davotoglu) both urged the international community to support the Arab League's recommendations for Syria following their Sunday meeting in Cairo, which included a request for a U.N.-Arab peacekeeping force in Syria. Clinton said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who the State Department accuses of murdering civilians, would have to agree first.

"We support the Arab League's decisions coming out of the meeting in Cairo to try to end the violence and move toward a transition. And we look forward to working closely with them in the lead-up to the meeting in Tunisia. There are a lot of challenges to be discussed as to how to put into effect all of their recommendations," Clinton said. "And certainly, the peacekeeping request is one that will take agreement and consensus. So we don't know that it is going to be possible to persuade Syria. They've already, as of today, rejected that."

Clinton then explained the main mission in Syria is to persuade the Assad regime to change course and give up its hold on power voluntarily so that a process can begin to change the Syrian system of government.

Published under: Hillary Clinton, Middle East, Syria