Aug 18 2011

Graham, Lieberman and McCain on Syria

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), Joe Lieberman (I-Connecticut) and John McCain (R-Arizona) today released the following statement applauding President Obama for calling on Bashar al Assad to leave power in Syria, and urging other nations to also call for and take action to end the Assad regime:

"We applaud President Obama for calling on Bashar al Assad to leave power, a position we have long argued should be the policy of the United States.

"Assad has been given every last chance to respond to the peaceful demands of the Syrian people for change, and he has squandered them all. Instead he has shown that he is wedded to the path of violence, trying to remain in power by slaughtering civilian protesters. It is critical that Assad not be allowed to prevail.

"We urge other nations to join the United States in demanding an end to the Assad regime, whose legitimacy is clearly exhausted. We also hope that other tangible actions will be taken as soon as possible, in coordination with our friends and partners around the world, to support the democratic transition that the Syrian people are risking and losing their lives to achieve.

"In particular, we hope the EU will join the U.S. in banning petroleum imports from Syria and imposing sanctions on the Syrian energy sector, which could have a crippling effect on the Assad regime. We also hope that the Turkish government will use its considerable economic and diplomatic leverage to support the people of Syria against the Assad regime at this critical moment. Lastly, we believe that a binding UN Security Council resolution imposing meaningful sanctions is more necessary and urgent than ever."