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STATEMENT BY U.S. OFFICIALS

Remarks During Camera Spray Following Meeting with Syrian National Council

April 1, 2012
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with Syrian activist Medea Daghestani during a meeting with the Syrian National Council at the Istanbul Congress Center (Photo: Aydan Yurdakul)

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with Syrian activist Medea Daghestani during a meeting with the Syrian National Council at the Istanbul Congress Center

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State

Istanbul, Turkey

QUESTION: (Via translator) I have three questions and three comments to make.

First of all, there is a feeling of despair, because people -- Syrian people feel that they are long in this battle. And they seem as if they are the only ones who want to change the regime and no one else is -- wants to change the regime. That is one point.

The second point is, is the Syrian regime that important and that -- a necessity regionally, that -- a necessity regionally, and the Syrian regime is more worth it than the blood of those martyrs who fell in the events in Syria?

And the third point is that we have 13 youths that were the killed and died while -- 3 journalists working there, and were (inaudible) that situation. So, what is going on here?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think what you should know is that people have been working very hard to try to figure out ways to help those inside Syria who are bearing the brunt of the brutality of the Assad regime. We are painfully aware of how brutal the actions by the regime have been. And the Syrian National Council has been working hard to organize different Syrians behind a unified approach because, until recently, it was hard to know how to help. There was not the kind of organized effort, and there was no place within Syria that the opposition controlled, which makes it very difficult to assist.

But there is a lot of progress being made in bringing the international community together. I think you will see in the communiqué today that there are concrete steps that are being taken. And it is in, really, honor and memory of the sacrifices of those who have been fighting and dying for their freedom, which is something that certainly the United States deeply honors.

There is going to be a lot of work ahead, however. And so we have to have a close coordination, which is what we have been working toward. But I really believe that, with the announcements coming from the meeting today, there will be greater pressure on the regime, there will be more assistance of all kinds for the Syrian National Council, there will be more humanitarian assistance, that the people inside Syria should know they are not alone.

Thank you. Thank you very much.