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Obama, other leaders again tell Syria to end 'brutal campaign'

President Barack Obama speaks with Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and British Prime Minister David Cameron about Syria's crackdown on pro-democracy protesters that activists say has killed 2,000.

August 14, 2011|By David G. Savage, Los Angeles Times
  • President Obama spoke by phone with Saudi Arabia and British leaders over the events in Syria, with the leaders expressing 'deep concerns' about the recent violence.
President Obama spoke by phone with Saudi Arabia and British leaders over… (Carolyn Kaster / Associated…)

Reporting from Washington — President Obama spoke by phone Saturday with Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and British Prime Minister David Cameron about Syria, and the leaders again called on the government there to end the "brutal campaign of violence" against its own people.

Syrian security forces have opened fire on protesters in recent weeks, and activists claim that as many as 2,000 people have been killed.

Abdullah recently broke his silence and called on the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad to stop "the killing machine." Abdullah also recalled the Saudi ambassador from Damascus, the Syrian capital.

The White House said the president and the Saudi king "expressed their shared, deep concerns" about the violence in Syria and said it must end immediately.

Cameron and Obama also discussed the crackdown and agreed on "the Syrian people's legitimate demands for a transition to democracy," the White House said.

Despite the tough rhetoric, Western allies have stopped short of saying that Assad should step down.

david.savage@latimes.com

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