2014-02-15T114148Z_3_CBREA1E0DSS00_RTROPTP_2_USA-JORDAN-LOAN

Obama says considering new pressure on Syria's Assad

Obama meets with Jordan's King Abduallah in Rancho MirageBy Steve Holland RANCHO MIRAGE, California (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Friday he is considering new ways to pressure the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as he pledged fresh U.S. assistance to Jordan’s King Abdullah, whose country is reeling from the Syrian civil war. Obama and Abdullah held talks at the Sunnylands retreat, the estate of the late philanthropist Walter Annenberg, in a desert region of California. With the Syrian civil war a central focus of their talks, Obama told reporters with Abdullah seated beside him that he does not expect the conflict to be resolved any time soon and that “there are going to be some immediate steps that we have to take to help the humanitarian assistance there.” “There will be some intermediate steps that we can take applying more pressure to the Assad regime and we are going to be continuing to work with all the parties concerned to try to move forward on a diplomatic solution,” Obama said. “We have been ramping up our support to the moderate opposition and Jordan has its own strong role to play in relationship to the moderate opposition,” said a senior Obama administration official after Obama and Abdullah held two hours of talks.

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