U.S. “Will Not Wait” to Help Syrian Opposition, Rice Says
By Stephen Kaufman
IIP Staff Writer
October 15, 2012
Rice said the United States “will not wait” for all of the Security Council members to “get on the right side of history” following three U.S.-backed U.N. efforts to increase international pressure on the Assad regime that were defeated by vetoes.
“Together with our allies, we’re supporting the opposition as it moves toward an inclusive, democratic transition. We’re further pressuring the regime, and we are addressing the growing humanitarian needs in the region,” she said.
So far, the Obama administration has committed more than $130 million in food, medical supplies and other lifesaving assistance for Syrians in need. Rice said the United States is also looking for ways to support Syrian efforts to “document serious violations of international law, including indiscriminate bombardment and deliberate targeting of civilians.”
Rice said that in the areas controlled by the Syrian opposition, “Syrian citizens are banding together to administer towns, reopen schools and rebuild their economy.”
The United States is helping the unarmed civilian opposition to organize in support of the July political transition plan agreed to in Cairo, “with its vision for a democratic, pluralistic Syria where all of its people have a say in how they’re governed,” she said.
Rice also said the Obama administration is supporting U.N. and Arab League Joint Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi’s work to find a “durable solution” to the Syrian crisis.
Syria’s political transition from the Assad regime “is not just inevitable — it has already begun,” she said.
Echoing President Obama’s September 25 remarks to the U.N. General Assembly, Rice said, “The future does not belong to a dictator who massacres his people.”