WASHINGTON, Jan 9 (KUNA) -- Two days for a trilateral meeting on Syria, the
United States on Wednesday urged Russia to back a plan to oust Syrian
President Bashar Al-Assad, saying "now is the time to jump".
"If we are able to get the Russian Federation behind a concrete plan that
moves past Assad, then obviously he will see that support strip away.. that
will have both a psychological impact and it may have a material impact,"
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters on Wednesday.
Syria's allies may begin to see that the Syrian leader's days are number,
Nuland noted, "So now is the time to jump".
Russian and U.S. diplomats will meet with the international mediator for
Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, on Friday in Geneva, Switzerland. Both nations support
Brahimi's efforts to strike a peace deal based on an agreement reached by
world powers in Geneva in June, which called for the creation of a
transitional governing body, but they are at odds over Assad.
In contrast to the U.S., Russia says Assad's exit from power must not be a
precondition for a political solution in Syria, where more than 60,000 have
been killed since the conflict began with a government crackdown on protests
in March 2011. (end)
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