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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Remarks on Syria

Press Availability
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Lithuania News Conference
Reuters Soundbite
Vilnius, Lithuania
July 1, 2011


It doesn't appear that is coherent and consistent message coming from Syria. We know what they have to do, they must begin a genuine transition to democracy and allowing one meeting of the opposition in Damascus is not sufficient action toward achieving that goal. So I am disheartened by the recent reports of continued violence on the borders and in Aleppo, where demonstrators have been beaten, attacked with knives by government organized groups and security forces.

It is absolutely clear, that Syrian Government is running out of time. There isn't any question about that. They are either going to allow a serious political process, that will include peaceful protests take place throughout Syria and engage a productive dialogue with members of the opposition and civil society, or they going continue to see increasingly organized resistance. We regret the loss of life and we regret the violence, but this choice is up to the Syrian Government.  Right now we are looking for action, not words and we haven't seen enough of that."

2011 is a banner year for Lithuania on the world stage as chair of Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Lithuania has been instrumental in raising awareness of the very difficult situation in Belarus. Together we demand that Belarus release political prisoners and embark on a path of democratic reform, because it seems very sad for the peoples of Belarus that they stand in such stark contrast to their neighbors and it reminds us that building whole and free Europe is still unfinished task.

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