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Clinton to China, Russia: Syria needs change

Tuesday - 6/5/2012, 11:01am  ET

By BRADLEY KLAPPER
Associated Press

BATUMI, Georgia (AP) - Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is inviting China and Russia to "be part of the solution in Syria" but says that must include a political transition from the Assad regime.

Clinton says the transition "has to be the main focus of our diplomacy." She says violence over the last 10 days shows "peace and human dignity will not be possible in Syria without change."

Clinton spoke to reporters Tuesday in the Georgian city of Batumi, after Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin met Chinese President Hu Jintao in Beijing.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said Tuesday the countries oppose "regime change by force." They've twice blocked the U.N. from imposing sanctions on Syria.

Clinton is meeting Wednesday in Istanbul and with U.N. mediator Kofi Annan in Washington Friday.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)