Clinton Expected at Paris Talks on Syriaإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is set to attend talks in Paris on Thursday as part of international efforts to end the violence in Syria, a U.S. official said Wednesday.
"We're now expecting this meeting will happen and she will be there," a senior State Department official told reporters traveling with Clinton from Brasilia to Brussels.
The official said "the timing (of the meeting) is extremely important in the sense that we have the first tranche of monitors starting to deploy" in Syria to ensure President Bashar Assad's regime is implementing a peace plan.
The official, speaking before Clinton's plane stopped to refuel in the Canary Islands, also comes amid concerns about violations of a ceasefire that will be a week old on Thursday.
The official said this situation "is either going to get better or we're going to have to go back to pressure" to make sure Assad lives up to a peace plan presented by U.N. and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan.
The meeting is "a chance for key countries to really take stock, to really work together on how we can support Kofi Annan and what we need to do next," the official said.
In Paris, a government source said French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe has invited several of his fellow foreign ministers to talks in Paris on Thursday on ways to boost the pressure on Bashar Assad's Syrian regime.
The official said the meeting and the guest list were not finalized, but that Juppe hoped to host around a dozen ministers, some of whom will be in the region already for NATO talks in nearby Brussels on Wednesday and Thursday.
"The goal is to maintain the pressure," the French source said Tuesday
Clinton was due in Brussels for meetings of NATO foreign and defense ministers on Wednesday.