WASHINGTON Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday, trying to break a deadlock over a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Syria's crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.
Russia and China dislike the idea of any U.N. Security Council judgment on Syria and have played little role in discussions on a draft resolution to condemn Syrian bloodshed against protesters.
Syrian forces shot dead 16 people on Friday when they fired on protesters demanding the removal of President Bashar al-Assad. The three-month uprising was inspired by revolts in other Arab countries.
The United States is not sponsoring the U.N. resolution but has made clear it supports the European draft in condemning the Syrian crackdown. The resolution would not impose sanctions.
Clinton's discussion with Lavrov on Syria focused on the activity in the U.N. Security Council "and how the U.S. and Russia can work together to make sure that we can get to a U.N. Security Council resolution," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.
"She expressed her hope that the U.S. and Russia can work together," she said.
Nuland would not characterize whether the conversation had resulted in any movement on the issue. "It was a good conversation," she said.
Clinton has not made a similar call to her counterpart from China, Nuland said.
The goal is to have all five permanent members on board and the largest number of affirmative votes, a senior administration official said. So consultations continue "to make sure that we can have the broadest based support of the Security Council, the type of resolution that would send a strong message to President Assad," he said.