On June 30, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton traveled to Geneva, Switzerland for the meeting on the Action Group on Syria. After the meeting, Secretary Clinton said, "As you've just heard from Special Envoy Annan, today the international community came together to endorse a plan for a democratic transition in Syria that aims to end the violence and pave the way for a post-Assad unity government.
"Kofi Annan called this meeting to mobilize the political will needed to implement his six-point plan. And after a long day of intense discussions, the next steps are clear."
Secretary Clinton continued, "No one has any illusions about the difficulties ahead. We are dealing with not only a murderous regime in a combustible region, but the potential for that region to be gravely affected by the continuance of this violence. But the stakes of inaction by the international community are just too high. If Syria spirals further into civil war, not only will more civilians die, not only will more refugees stream across the borders, but instability will most certainly spill into neighboring states.
"Kofi Annan has offered a plan to avoid that path, and we should spare no effort to support him. The United States will not waiver in our conviction that the future of Syria belongs to the Syrian people. They deserve our support and the support of every nation, so we will press ahead, building on what was accomplished today, pursuing every diplomatic avenue, and playing a leadership role in resolving this crisis that has gone on too long."
In answer to a question, Secretary Clinton said, "...Every day that has gone by without unity on the Security Council and among the states gathered here has been a day that has given comfort to Assad and his cronies and supporters. What we have done here is to strip away the fiction that he and those with blood on their hands can stay in power. The plan calls for the Assad regime to give way to a new transitional governing body that will have full governance powers.
"Now, in deciding to accept the minor textual changes, we and our partners made absolutely clear to Russia and China that it is now incumbent upon them to show Assad the writing on the wall. I do not believe that anyone in the Assad regime ever thought we could come out with a unified statement today expressing not only the concerns but a path forward that would include Russia and China. And he needs to hear loudly and clearly that his days are numbered.
"Russia and China have also pledged to start helping Kofi Annan find a way forward and work to use their leverage in order to establish the transitional governing body. We, of course, will do our part as well, because this transitional governing body will only succeed if it is composed of men and women who are beyond reproach."
You can read more about Secretary Clinton's travel at www.state.gov.