Statement by the Press Secretary on Violence in Syria
We condemn and deplore the use of violence against citizens demonstrating in Syria, and applaud the courage and dignity of the Syrian people. We urge all parties to maintain calm and avoid violence, and call on the Syrian government to respect human rights and to allow for peaceful demonstrations. The Syrian government has an important opportunity to be responsive to the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people. President Bashar al-Assad has a responsibility to promptly take concrete steps and actions that deliver on his promises and advance a meaningful reform agenda. Violence is not the answer to the grievances of the Syrian people. What is needed now is a credible path to a future of greater freedom, democracy, opportunity, and justice.