| Updated at: 0137 PST, Friday, September 02, 2011|
PARIS: The world community should escalate pressure on President Bashar al-Assad by targeting Syria's oil and gas exports to force him from office, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday.
"The violence must stop and he needs to step aside," Clinton told reporters in Paris after a meeting on the similar crisis in Libya, where local strongman Moamer Kadhafi has already been forced from office.
"Syria must be allowed to move forward," she said. "Those who have joined us in this call must now translate our rhetoric into concrete action to escalate the pressure on Assad and those around him."
This pressure must include "strong new sanctions targeting Syria's energy sector to deny the regime the revenues that fund its campaign of violence." (AFP)