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U.S. threatens more pressure on Syria if Annan plan fails

Washington, Sat, 21 Apr 2012 ANI

Washington, April 21 (Xinhua-ANI): The United States on Friday threatened that it will increase pressure on the Syrian government if it fails to live up to all its obligations under the six-point peace plan put forward by UN-Arab League joint envoy Kofi Annan.

"We're planning for a scenario where the monitors will be able to get in and do their job and will be able to push and encourage increasing space for peaceful protests, for political transition and for Assad to live up to all the rest of the obligations under the six-point plan," said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.

"Even as we plan for the best we also have to be prepared, if this is not successful, to increase the pressure," she told reporters at a briefing.

Nuland said that U.S. State Secretary Hillary Clinton has made the point clear to its partners at a meeting of Friends of Syria in Paris on Thursday.

She cited Clinton's talks of a new UN Security Council resolution under Chapter 7, "which would increase sanctions, increase travel restrictions, increase financial squeezing, an arms embargo," among other measures.

But Nuland said that the U.S. policy with regard to military assistance to the Syrian opposition has not changed.

In the briefing, she also announced that the United States will give additional eight million U.S. dollars in humanitarian aid to the Syrians affected by the year-long violence, which makes the U. S. aid to a total of 33 million U.S. dollars so far.

An advance team of seven UN unarmed military observers is monitoring compliance with a fragile ceasefire taking effect a week ago.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has made a recommendation to expand the UN observation mission in Syria.

In response, Russia on Friday circulated a draft resolution at the 15-nation Security Council to authorize the deployment to Syria of up to 300 more unarmed ceasefire observers, diplomats said. The draft will be put to a vote in the coming days, the diplomats added. (Xinhua-ANI)

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