It's time for Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime to move on, U.S. President Barack Obama and Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt said Friday.
"All of us who have been seeing the terrible pictures coming out of Syria and Homs recently recognize it is absolutely imperative for the international community to rally and send a clear message to President Assad that it is time for a transition," Obama said during a media availability with Thorning-Schmidt in Washington. "It is time for that regime to move on and it is time to stop the killing of Syrian citizens by their own government."
Obama said he was encouraged by the "international unity" developing and would keep pressuring the regime while looking for "every tool available to prevent the slaughter of innocents in Syria."
"It is important that we not be bystanders during these extraordinary events," he said.
Thorning-Schmidt called Syria "horrendous" and said the international community must keep working together.
She said the U.S. -Denmark relationship was in "very good shape."
Denmark now has the revolving presidency of the European Union; Thorning-Schmidt said she told Obama she is convinced Europe will "see itself through" the economic crisis.
Obama praised Denmark for its role in Libya and Afghanistan.
"That's very typical of the way that Danes have punched above their weight in international affairs," he said.
He also thanked her for supporting tough sanctions on Iran, adding, "We both agreed they are working."
The White House said the two leaders also discussed preparations for the upcoming NATO summit in Chicago, including proposals for supporting the transition in Afghanistan, increasing alliance defense capabilities and advancing NATO's relationships with key partners.
They also discussed matters of mutual interest, including diplomatic cooperation and global development, bilateral cooperation, cooperation on economic, energy and environmental issues, and trade, investments and jobs.
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