US, Britain tell Assad: Stop the killings

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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Monday the United States and Britain urged Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to stop the killings and beatings of anti-regime protesters.

Speaking at a news conference with British Foreign Secretary William Hague in London, Clinton said they urged Assad to "stop the killings and beatings and arrests".

Both countries also called for the Syrian regime to "release political prisoners and detainees and respond to the demands that are upon you for a process of credible and inclusive democratic change".

The warning came after the European Union tightened the noose on Assad on Monday, imposing sanctions on the Syrian leader for the first time while calling for quick Middle East peace talks as it responded to the Arab Spring.

At least 900 people have been killed and thousands more arrested in pro-democracy protests in Syria.

© 2011 AFP

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