Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Senators Levin, King call for "London 11" summit to increase pressure on Assad following Mideast trip

WASHINGTON, D. C. -- The United States and other members of the "London 11" nations should convene a meeting of political, military and intelligence officials "to comprehensively plan for additional steps that could be taken to up the military pressure on the Assad regime" in Syria, Sen. Carl Levin and Sen. Angus King said today in a joint statement following their trip to the region.

Levin, D-Mich., and King, I-Maine, recently completed a five-day trip to Jordan and Turkey, where they conferred with government officials in each country as well as U.S. diplomatic and military personnel, and visited camps in both nations where some of the hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria’s civil war have fled. Levin is chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and an ex-officio member of the Intelligence Committee. King is a member of both committees.

Citing the threats to U.S. interest and to regional stability if the conflict continues, Levin and King called for expanding efforts to train and equip vetted members of the Syrian opposition. In addition, they call for the "London 11" nations "to comprehensively plan for additional steps that could be taken to up the military pressure on the Assad regime. … For this reason, we call upon the Administration to convene a meeting of the political, military, and intelligence leaders of countries committed to the end of the Assad regime. The objective of this summit should be to develop specific options and plans for a range of contingencies and to enlist firm commitments from our friends and allies, so that the Assad regime and its supporters will understand the seriousness of purpose of this joint effort."

Click here for the full text of the senators’ joint statement.

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