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U.S., Russia 'Still Disagree' On Response To Syria Bloodshed

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at the State Department in Washington in July.
U.S. officials say the United States and Russia continue to disagree on how the international community should respond to the Syrian government's bloody crackdown on antiregime protesters.

Officials said the Syrian situation was discussed by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on September 19 in New York, where the annual United Nations General Assembly is getting under way.

U.S. officials said Clinton urged Russia to support a strong condemnation of the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad in the UN Security Council, where both the U.S. and Russia have veto powers.

But the officials said Lavrov presented Moscow's view that the best way forward in Syria would be the start of a dialogue between opposition protesters and the Assad regime.

The U.S. government has already said that Assad should leave power.

The UN's human rights division has estimated that pro-Assad forces have killed 2,700 people since the uprising against the regime started in March, including at least 100 children.

compiled from agency reports