The prospect of a new U.N. resolution on Syria would be pointless if it had “no teeth,” as President Bashar al-Assad would ignore it, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Sunday.
“There is no point to passing a resolution with no teeth because we’ve seen time and time again that Assad will ignore it and keep attacking his own people,” Clinton told reporters at the end of an Asia-Pacific summit in Russia.
Clinton said she was willing to work with Moscow on a new U.N. resolution on Syria but warned that the United States would step up support to end Assad’s regime if the measure did not carry consequences.
The United States has said it is providing non-lethal assistance to the opposition in Syria, which has been a Moscow ally since the Cold War.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Saturday after talks with Clinton that he hoped to seek UN Security Council approval for a peace plan agreed in June in Geneva that called for a ceasefire and political transition.
“I will continue to work with Foreign Minister Lavrov to see if we can revisit the idea of putting the Syrian transition plan that we agreed to in Geneva earlier this summer into a Security Council resolution,” Clinton said.
“But as I underscored yesterday with Foreign Minister Lavrov, that will only be effective if it includes consequences for non-compliance.”
Clinton said she hoped for progress but was “realistic” that the United States and Russia had differences on Syria.
If those differences persist, “then we will work with like-minded states to support a Syrian opposition to hasten the day when Assad falls and to help prepare Syria for a democratic future and help it get back on its feet,” she said.