US Envoy: It is up to the Syrians to find alternatives to Assad


US ambassador to Lebanon Maura Connelly, said in an interview with LBC television , that all efforts must be exerted to convince Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down adding “It is not up to the US to impose alternatives on Syria; only the Syrian people are authorized to do so.”

Connelly also said that she was afraid Al-Qaeda and extremist groups might try to hamper the political transition in Syria.

On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned during a US Senate hearing against sending arms to the Syrian opposition out of concern that weapons could fall into the hands of Al-Qaeda.

Connelly added that the US understands Lebanon’s situation amid the Syrian crisis and its relations with Syria, “however, we must look at what Lebanon did and the role it played with regards to the Syrian refugees.”

Asked about Lebanon’s position toward Syria, Connelly said: “I don’t think that anyone in Lebanon approves of the violence in Syria.”

Regarding international sanctions against the Syrian regime, Connelly assured that the US was in contact with the Lebanese banking sector and the Central Bank of Lebanon, and that she was confident the Lebanese banking sector was aware of its responsibilities regarding US and European sanctions against Syria.

Now Lebanon