Speaking in Tokyo, Clinton said an admission by UN mediator Kofi Annan that his peace plan was failing should serve as a “wake-up call for everyone”. As to the future of Assad, the state secretary said it should be clear that “the sand is running out of the hourglass”.
Meanwhile the Syrian president accused Washington on Sunday of fuelling the bloody uprising in his country by partnering with “terrorists”.
In an interview with German public broadcaster ARD, Assad said the US had aided rebels “with weapons, money or public and political support at the United Nations”.
He also vowed that he would not step down “in the face of national challenges”.
The comments came a day after Annan told French daily Le Monde that divisions between regional and world powers over how to resolve the conflict had complicated attempts to forge a settlement.
“The evidence shows that we have not succeeded,” he said in reference to his peace plan.