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Western leaders call for Assad to back down

Friday, August 31, 2012 - 01:25

Aug 31 - French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and British Foreign Secretary William Hague pledge humanitarian assistance for Syrians and call upon Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to back down as refugee crisis heightens. Sarah Sheffer reports.

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Thousands of displaced Syrians are waiting in sweltering conditions at border crossings with Turkey. Turkey has reportedly closed its borders to Syrians without passports because its refugee camps, home now to more than 80,000, are full. Despite the worsening situation, a member of Syrian National Council says he has little faith that the international community will help. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) MEMBER OF SYRIAN NATIONAL COUNCIL, ADIB SHISHAKLY, SAYING: "The whole international community has been watching so why we should expect anything to be done now? It's been almost a year and a half and nothing been done so far." Turkish officials have promised that they will erect four new camps that will house 40,000 people. Meanwhile, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and British Foreign Secretary William Hague came together at the U.N. to pledge their support to the Syrian people. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY, WILLIAM HAGUE, SAYING: "Now is the time to step away from this regime and deny it moral and financial support. And we call on Assad supporters to distance themselves from the regime or face the increasing possibility in the future of being held to account for the regime's actions." France and Britain also warned Syria's President Bashar al-Assad that military action to secure safe zones for civilians inside the country was being considered.

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Western leaders call for Assad to back down

Friday, August 31, 2012 - 01:25