9 Egyptian officials resign from posts
DUBLIN — Diplomatic efforts to end Syria’s civil war moved forward Thursday with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joining Russia’s foreign minister and the U.N. peace envoy to the Arab country for extraordinary talks that suggested Washington and Moscow might finally unite behind a strategy as the Assad regime weakens.
In Washington, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said intelligence reports raise fears that an increasingly desperate Syrian President Bashar Assad is considering using chemical weapons, which the U.S. and Russia agree is unacceptable.
“I think there is no question that we remain very concerned, very concerned,” Panetta said, “that, as the opposition advances, in particular in Damascus, that regime might very well consider the use of chemical weapons.”
It was unclear whether Assad might target rebels within Syria or bordering countries, but concern over such a scenario was clearly adding urgency to discussions in Dublin.
On the sidelines of a human rights conference, Clinton gathered with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and mediator Lakhdar Brahimi to look for a strategy the international community could rally around to end Syria’s 21-month civil war.
“We have talked a little bit about how we can work out hopefully a process that will get Syria back from the brink,” Brahimi said.
The experienced Algerian diplomat, representing the global body and the Arab League, said he would put together
An elite Egyptian unit positions tanks outside the presidential palace Thursday after battles between Islamists and secular protesters.