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U.S. To Press Europeans, Arabs To Do More On Syria

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the United States will urge the Europeans, Arabs, and others to do more to press Syria to stop its deadly crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.

Clinton said President Bashar al-Assad's regime was responsible for the deaths of over 2,000 people, repeating that Washington believes Assad has "lost his legitimacy to govern the Syrian people."

Recently both the United States and Russia toughened their stance against Assad's regime

Reports from the Syrian city of Hama say an army assault on the town has left dozens of civilians dead.

Also, Syrian activists have dismissed a decree from Assad to allow opposition parties after decades of Ba'ath Party rule.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe has also dismissed the decree as "lacking credibility."

The decree comes a day after the UN Security Council condemned the Syrian government's deadly crackdown on the protesters.

Meanwhile, a Syrian opposition leader announced the movement would hold its first congress in the Tunisian capital in September, after the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.

Muheddin Ladhikani, secretary-general of the Syrian Democratic Movement, told the AFP news agency that "this congress aims to unite the Syrian opposition inside and outside Syria and to work out a working agenda for a post-Bashar al-Assad stage."

compiled from agency reports