United States want tough sanctions against Syria
The United States is pushing for tough sanctions against Syria, U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said on Tuesday, RIA Novosti reported.
Paris on Tuesday hosted a meeting of diplomats from 57 countries who tried to coordinate measures designed to pressure Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
"The tougher the better. We've said all along that we want to see sanctions, political pressure, economic pressure increased on Assad, increased on his regime," Toner said.
"We would have the message conveyed very clearly to those around Assad that the tide has turned, and they need to reconsider their options," he said.
Toner disagreed with the viewpoint of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who earlier on Tuesday said there were some external forces not interested in the success of the UN Security Council's peacekeeping efforts.
"I don't think anybody wants to see the violence return to Syria," he said when asked to comment on Lavrov's words.
A ceasefire, part of UN envoy Kofi Annan's peace plan, came into force in Syria on April 12, but reports say fighting has continued in a number of areas, including the rebel city of Homs.
Some 9,000 people have been killed in clashes between the government and the opposition in Syria since the uprising against Assad began in March 2011, according to UN estimates.
The Friends of Syria group, which includes the United States and the United Kingdom, suggested earlier this month arming Syrian rebels, a proposal that Russia said would merely prolong the conflict.
And on Tuesday, Lavrov told third parties to stay out of the Syria crisis.
"There really are those who are interested in the failure of Kofi Annan's plan," he said, without mentioning specific countries.
Russia has also twice vetoed UN Security Council resolutions on Syria over what it says is a pro-rebel bias, but gave its full backing to Annan's peace plan, which Damascus also supported.