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What the World is Saying About Syria Uprising


Inspired by other Arab Spring movements, protests began against the brutal rule of Bashar al-Assad on Jan. 26. 2011. The ongoing protests escalated to an uprising in March 2011, with thousands taking to the streets in numerous cities to demand the ouster of Assad. The protests have been met with brutal government force, including tanks and sniper fire, with thousands killed. Here is what the international community has been saying in response.

"Al-Assad is still the leader of Syria and the leaders of any country have the responsibility to listen to the aspirations of their respective peoples. ...Both sides should make their way to the negotiation table with a strong will, bravery, and political determination." -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

"We certainly believe that if Syrians unite, they together can succeed in moving their country to that better future. We are well aware that there is a lot of hard work to be done. There are many Syrians in exile who are committed to helping their country make this transition. And there are many Syrians in their homes and neighborhoods and communities who are struggling against the violence and the repression to realize that better future as well." -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

"The massacres being committed by the Syrian regime rightly arouse disgust and revolt in the Arab world, in France, in Europe and everywhere in the world. The Syrian president must leave power." -- French President Nicolas Sarkozy

"We in Jordan do not believe in military intervention into Syria but the implications of what’s going on is alarming especially on the humanitarian level." -- King Abdullah of Jordan

"China believes that when it comes to properly handling the current Syrian situation, it is the correct direction and major approach to resolve the internal differences through political dialogue and maintain its national stability as well as the overall stability and security of the Middle East. The future of Syria should be independently decided by the Syrian people themselves free from external interference. We hope the international community continues to play a constructive role in this regard." -- Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu

"I believe the resolutions we would approve to send a strong message to the Syrian regime should in fact be addressed to both sides. Things are not just black and white there, and the anti-government protesters in Syria are not followers of some refined European models of democracy." -- Russian President Dmitry Medvedev

"My country will withdraw its monitors because the Syrian government did not execute any of the elements of the Arab resolution plan. We are calling on the international community to bear its responsibility, and that includes our brothers in Islamic states and our friends in Russia, China, Europe and the United States." -- Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal

"We will continue to consult very closely with Jordan to create the kind of international pressure and environment that encourage the current Syrian regime to step aside so that a more democratic process and transition can take place inside of Syria." -- U.S. President Barack Obama

"Iran’s stance towards Syria is to support any reforms that benefit the people of this country and oppose the interference of America and its allies in Syrian domestic issues. When one looks at the developments in that country ... America’s plans for Syria are evident and unfortunately some foreign and regional countries take part in America’s plans." -- Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

"It is intolerable that the powers of the world intend to claim for themselves the right to direct the lawful rulers to resign immediately. This was the case in Libya and they want to proceed in the same way in Syria." -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez

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