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Secretary Clinton to al-Assad: 'Take this path'

By Jill Dougherty, CNN
March 21, 2012 -- Updated 1757 GMT (0157 HKT)
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to accept a six-point U.N.-Arab League plan.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to accept a six-point U.N.-Arab League plan.
  • The six-point plan for halting the violence in Syria won unanimous Security Council approval
  • "The council has now spoken with one voice," Clinton says
  • Meanwhile, she says, the United States is working on multiple fronts

(CNN) -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Wednesday to accept the six-point U.N.-Arab League plan offered by envoy Kofi Annan as a way to halt the violence in Syria.

"Take this path. Commit to it. Or face increasing pressure and isolation," Clinton said addressing al-Assad and "his regime."

The plan won support from the U.N. Security Council earlier in the day, an action Clinton called a "positive step."

"The council has now spoken with one voice," she said. "It has commanded a U.N.-supervised cessation of violence in all its forms, beginning with a pullback from population centers by the Syrian government and its forces, humanitarian access to all areas in need, and the beginning of a Syrian-led political process to address the legitimate aspirations of all the Syrian people that will lead to a democratic transition."

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Asked whether the plan is enforceable, Clinton said, "The unanimous support by the Security Council for this plan will add quite significant import to the discussions."

In the meantime, Clinton said, the United States is working on multiple fronts.

For one, Annan, the joint U.N. and Arab League special envoy on Syria, is meeting with the Syrian government and with the opposition.

In addition, she said, the United States is coordinating with the United Nations on the delivery of humanitarian aid and working with the Syrian opposition to "strengthen its preparation to participate in the Syrian-led transition process."

Furthermore, the United States also is calling on the Syrian opposition to refuse orders to fire on their fellow citizens as well as working with the Syrian business community on implementing the Annan plan.

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