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Obama calls on Syrian president to step down

January 18, 2012 09:21 IST

Expressing his dismay over the continued and "unacceptable" level of violence in Syria, United States President Barack Obama has urged the country's president Bashar al-Assad to step aside.

"Unfortunately, we're continuing to see unacceptable levels of violence inside that country," Obama said in his joint press conference with the visiting King Abdullah of Jordan.

The two leaders had held meeting at the White House discussing a range of regional issues including the situation in the region, the peace talks between Israel and Palestine and the situation in countries like Yemen and Syria, besides Iran.

Obama reiterated that the US will continue to consult very closely with Jordan to create the kind of international pressure and environment that encourages the current Syrian regime to step aside so that a more democratic process of transition can take place inside the country.

"We talked about the importance of us continuing to consult closely together to encourage the Palestinians and the Israelis to come back to the table and negotiate in a serious fashion a peaceful way forward.

And the Jordanians have taken great leadership on this issue, and we very much appreciate their direction on this issue," he said.

The US president also lauded the king for his efforts in guiding political reform inside Jordan and for responding to the legitimate concerns and aspirations, both political and economical, of the country's population.

"We also talked about a number of regional issues, including Iraq and Iran, but uppermost on our minds right now is the issue of Syria," he said.

In his remarks, King Abdullah appreciated the historical support that the two countries have enjoyed.

"And again, our personal friendship, which is very, very strong, has allowed us to look at the challenges that the Israelis and Palestinians face," he said.

However, Abdullah added that the US and Jordan are in coordination on regular basis to solve the impasse the two nations share on the Israel and Palestinian conflict.

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