Clinton says Syria deal means Assad must go

GENEVA Sat Jun 30, 2012 2:03pm EDT

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GENEVA (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Saturday strongly endorsed a new international plan for a political transition in Syria, saying it would send a clear message to President Bashar al-Assad that he must step down.

"Assad will still have to go," Clinton told a news conference after international mediator Kofi Annan announced that major powers including Russia and the United States had reached a deal that calls for a transitional unity government to take power in Syria.

"What we have done here is to strip away the fiction that he and those with blood on their hands can stay in power," Clinton said.

(Reporting by Andrew Quinn)

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