US urges China, Russia, India action on Syria
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday urged China, India and Russia to step up pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to curtail his government's brutal crackdown on protests.
In an interview with CBS News, Clinton suggested that China and India impose energy sanctions on Syria while she urged Russia to stop selling arms to Damascus, which has been a customer for decades from Moscow.
"What we really need to do to put the pressure on Assad is to sanction the oil and gas industry. And we want to see Europe take more steps in that direction," Clinton said.
"And we want to China take steps with us. We want to see India, because India and China have large energy investments inside of Syria. We want to see Russia cease selling arms to the Assad regime," the chief US diplomat said.
Clinton's spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters earlier that she did not know when Russia last made an arms delivery to Russia.
But when asked if Washington had asked Russia to stop arms sales, Nuland replied: "We have repeatedly, yes, and over many, many years and more than one administration."
Clinton meanwhile welcomed the fact that China and Russia, after refusing to condemn Syria, backed a UN Security Council statement last week denouncing the Syrian regime.
© 2011 AFP