Assad must go, Obama tells G8
Camp David, May 20, 2012
US President Barack Obama told G8 leaders meeting at Camp David that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must leave power, and pointed to Yemen as a model of how political transition could work there, the White House said.
Ben Rhodes, an official with the National Security Council, said the attention in recent weeks on securing access for UN
monitors and keeping track of ceasefires had distracted from the fundamental problems in Syria.
'It is our assessment that you are not going to be able to solve this problem just with monitors and ceasefires, that you need to have a political process underway that is responsive to the Syrian people, because otherwise you are not going to solve the problem,' Rhodes said.
He said the G8 leaders - from Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and Canada, plus the United States which is hosting the summit - discussed how a political transition could take place in Syria.
Obama brought up Yemen as an example of a leader departing power peacefully and ushering in a democratic process, Rhodes said, telling the press: 'Our point was that we need to see political transition underway that brings real change to Syria.'
'We believe that change has to include Bashar Al-Assad leaving power. And unless you begin the process of a political transition of some sort, you are not going to be able to deal with reducing the violence and addressing the grievances of the people who came out in the street to start with,' Rhodes said. - Reuters