The following are excerpts related to Syria from Secretary Clinton’s June 28th Press Availability with Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton
June 28, 2012
Let me say a quick word about Syria. Latvia and the United States have worked closely together to increase pressure on the Assad regime, to provide humanitarian assistance to Syrian civilians, who are bearing the brunt of the regime’s brutal assault, and to support the efforts of Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan to try to prepare the way for a democratic transition. We have also joined together in NATO in solidarity behind our NATO ally Turkey.
In recent days, Kofi Annan has accelerated plans for a democratic transition. I will discuss these issues with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Saint Petersburg tomorrow. And then I look forward to participating in a meeting organized by Joint Special Envoy Annan in Geneva on Saturday.
(Excerpt from Press Q & A)
QUESTION: Thank you. Madam Secretary, thank you very much. I’d like to ask you about Syria, please. On the eve of your meeting with Minister Lavrov, he is indicating that he does not totally support Kofi Annan’s plan. He says that President Assad’s fate should be decided through a national dialogue by the Syrian people. He says there should be no solution imposed from the outside, including about the fate of Mr. Assad. So how can the meeting in Geneva, that you’re going to be going to, succeed if that is Russia’s approach – in other words, no explicit call for Mr. Assad to step aside?
And, Mr. Minister, just one quick question: You talked about relations with Russia, and I would be interested in whether you feel any pressure or any threat coming from the new government of President Putin. Thank you.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Jill, as I said yesterday, we want this meeting in Geneva that Special Envoy Annan has called to provide an opportunity to make real progress in supporting and implementing his six-point plan and the roadmap for transition that he has laid down. Now in his transition document, it is a Syrian-led transition, but we certainly believe that you have to have a transition that complies with international standards on human rights, accountable governance, the rule of law, equal opportunity for all people of Syria, and this framework lays out how to arrive at that. So we’re going to wait until I have a chance to consult with Foreign Minister Lavrov tomorrow and then until we get to the meeting on Saturday. But it was very clear from the invitations that were extended by Special Envoy Kofi Annan that people were coming on the basis of the transition plan that he had presented.