STOCKHOLM: US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is stepping up the pressure on Russia to join intensified international efforts for a political transition in Syria that will see President Bashar Assad driven from power.
Clinton says that in recent conversations with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, she has made it clear that Russia must be ''at the table helping that to occur.''
Russia is Syria's most important ally and has refused so far to support any move that could lead to foreign intervention in the Mideast nation.
Clinton says all Syrians ''should be reassured that they have a better future'' through a democratic transition to self-government.
She said at a news conference in Stockholm that she will meet Wednesday in Turkey with representatives of a number of countries in the region fearful of the consequences of a ''full-fledged civil war'' in Syria.