US wants India, China to act against Syria

August 12th, 2011 - 8:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Aug 12 (IANS) Stepping up pressure against the Assad regime in Syria, the US has asked India and China, with major investment in Syria’s energy sector, to join Washington in curbing the crackdown on protests there.

“We’ve issued more sanctions, tougher sanctions. We’re working with our European and other friends,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in an interview with CBS.

“But what we really need to do to put the pressure on (President Bashar al-) Assad is to sanction the oil and gas industry, and we want to see Europe take more steps in that direction.”

“We want to see China take steps with us. We want to see India, because India and China have large energy investments inside of Syria. We want to see Russia cease selling arms to the Assad regime,” Clinton said.

In making the first public call to India to take steps against the Syrian regime by imposing sanctions on it, Clinton acknowledged that because of limited economic relations, the US has very little stake in Syria.

“We have such a small stake in what they produce and what they market. The real trick is to convince the Europeans and the Arabs and the Chinese and the Indians and others,” she said.

But Clinton said the Obama administration has been very clear in saying that the Assad regime has lost its legitimacy and it has done “what is actually going to pay off rather than just rhetorically calling for him to go”.

“I think we were among the very first to say it. We’ve sent a very clear message that he should be doing what is necessary to end the violence against his own people,” she said.

“There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind where the US stands.”

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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