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Obama, Saudi king discuss situation in Syria

(Xinhua)

08:40, August 15, 2011

WASHINGTON, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama and Saudi King Abdullah on Saturday urged the Syrian government to end its violence against protesters immediately, the White House said.

In their phone conversation, the two leaders "expressed their shared, deep concerns about the Syrian government's use of violence against its citizens," and they agreed that "the Syrian regime's brutal campaign of violence against the Syrian people must end immediately," the White House said in a statement.

It said the two leaders agreed to continue close consultations about the situation in the days ahead, and Obama also reaffirmed long-term U.S. commitment to the region's peace and security.

The United States has been trying to stoke up pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad in recent days by mobilizing international condemnation of what it called brutal crackdown on protesters by the Syrian government. It has imposed fresh sanctions on Syrian entities, while Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain recalled their ambassadors from Damascus on Monday.

Assad has vowed that his country "will not waver" in its pursuit of terrorist groups, which Syria blamed for the unrest in the country starting in mid-March.

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