Authors: Jeanette Torres
(NEW YORK) -- Members of world powers will meet in Geneva on Saturday to try and find a resolution to the 16-month conflict in Syria that shows no signs yet of abating.
Saying she's planning to attend the summit, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday repeated the administration's support of United Nations special emissary Kofi Annan's plan to end the dispute between the Syrian government and rebel forces in diplomatic fashion.
During a visit to Finland, Clinton called Annan's effort "a roadmap for political transition in Syria," a strong indication that the U.S. wants President Bashar al-Assad to step down to assure the violence against pro-democratic forces ends.
Up to now, nothing has worked. Annan's earlier six-point plan for a ceasefire collapsed almost immediately with the vicious battle between the two sides actually intensifying. An estimated 15,000 people have been killed since March 2011 as al-Assad seems intent on fighting to the death to retain power.
One of the major stumbling blocks has been Russia's resistance to demand that al-Assad leave office. Moscow says most matters in Syria should be resolved internally.
Putting the best spin on a worsening situation, Clinton said Annan's roadmap for peace might offer "great hope that this perhaps can be a turning point in the very tragic circumstances affecting the Syrian people."
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