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National Journal: Rubio Calls for Stronger U.S. Action Against Syrian President Al-Assad

May 11, 2011 | News

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., called on President Obama to denounce Syrian President Bashir al-Assad for his crackdown against protestors in the country. He is teaming up with Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., to introduce a nonbinding resolution as soon as Wednesday to express support for the anti-government movement in the country.

“We’re on the side of the Syrian people. … Any time a government has to use government forces and army forces to kill unarmed civilians in order to hold onto power that makes them illegitimate, and that’s what’s happening in Syria,” Rubio said on CBS’ The Early Show Wednesday. “I hope the United States will be a clear voice saying that.” Other nations will follow the U.S. lead in condemning the country, he said.

President Obama ordered targeted sanctions against Syria last month and White House press secretary Jay Carney has also called on the Syrian government to end its violence against civilians, but the administration has not been as forceful as the U.S. positions against ousted Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak or embattled Libyan leader Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi.

“The solution is to be a leading voice in the world,” Rubio said.

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