+4:3 US not considering arming Syrian opposition - vTomb

+4:3 US not considering arming Syrian opposition

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(7 Feb 2012)
DOS TV
++4:3++
1. Wide of State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland walking to podium
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Victoria Nuland, State Department spokeswoman:
"We don't think more arms into Syria is the answer. We think the answer is to get to a national democratic dialogue, for the violence to stop, for the regime's tanks to come out of the cities, and then for monitors to be able to go back in."
3. Mid of reporter asking question
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Victoria Nuland, State Department Spokeswoman
"If, in fact, Assad supports the end of violence, he knows what he can do today, what he has neglected to do for these 11 months. He can stop the attacks by his forces on innocents in cities across Syria. And the violence continues in Homs, in Hama, around the outskirts of Damascus, et cetera."
5. Mid of reporter asking question
AP TELEVISION
++16:9++
6. Wide of White House Press Secretary Jay Carney walking into briefing room
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Jay Carney, White House spokesman:
"There will be a transition in Syria and it is a mistake, we believe, for any country to put its eggs in that basket, if you will, because by doing that you're alienating the Syrian people and many others in the region who are on the side of putting pressure on the Assad regime to get it to stop this behaviour and to step aside so that a transition can take place in Syria."
8. Wide of Carney at podium
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Jay Carney, White House spokesman:
"Russia must realise that betting everything on Assad is a recipe for failure, not just for Russia's interests in Syria but for the stability of the region and for Syria's future."
10. Mid of Carney leaving briefing
STORYLINE:
The White House said on Tuesday that the US is not considering arming opposition groups in Syria, deflecting calls from some lawmakers to explore such a possibility as one way to quell the violence in Syria.
At the State Department, spokesperson Victoria Nuland said that while the US never takes any option off the table, "we don't think more arms into Syria is the answer."
Nuland also said that if Assad wanted peace, he could end the violence today.
"If, in fact, Assad supports the end of violence, he knows what he can do today, what he has neglected to do for these 11 months. He can stop the attacks by his forces on innocents in cities across Syria."
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney also criticised Russia's decision to veto a resolution at the UN Security Council this weekend.
"Russia must realise that betting everything on Assad is a recipe for failure," Carney said, "not just for Russia's interests in Syria but for the stability of the region and for Syria's future."
He said that "there will be a transition in Syria and it is a mistake, we believe, for, for any country to put its eggs in that basket."
Carney said current deliberations inside the administration are focused on how the US could provide humanitarian aid to the Syrian people.
Earlier on Tuesday, some congressional lawmakers, including Republican Senator John McCain, called for the US to consider arming the Syrian opposition.
More than 5,400 people have been killed in Syria since the uprising began in March, according to a United Nations count from early last month.
Hundreds more are believed to have been killed since then, but the UN says the chaos in the country has made it impossible to cross-check the figures.
The US has been loath to consider any type of military intervention in Syria, preferring sanctions instead.

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