U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday praised the U.N. statement on Syria and warned President Bashar al-Assad to carry out the peace plan or face "increasing pressure."
Clinton said that the long-divided U.N. Security Council has taken "a positive step" after it adopted a statement demanding that Syria immediately implement a peace plan proposed by former secretary general Kofi Annan.
"To President Assad and his regime, we say, along with the rest of the international community, take this path, commit to it, or face increasing pressure and isolation," Clinton told reporters.
Clinton called for the plan to be implemented by "all Syrians who love their country and respect its history and understand the tremendous potential that working together provides."
Russia and China vetoed two earlier U.N. resolutions -- which carry more weight than statements -- that aimed to pressure Assad.
"We think it is quite significant that we are now all united behind Kofi Annan's mission," said Clinton, speaking at a joint news conference with Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul.
Clinton said that the United States was working with the Syrian opposition to prepare for a potential transition of power.
"We are also calling on the Syrian military to refuse orders to fire on their fellow citizens and we're also calling on members of the business community who still support the regime to work on behalf of implementing the Security Council statement and Kofi Annan's mission," Clinton said.
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