Romney welcomes mass expulsion of Syrian diplomats

Associated Press + More

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is calling for more "assertive measures" against Syrian President Bashar Assad, including arming the Syrian opposition. The Obama administration so far has declined to help arm the opposition.

Romney said in a written statement that he welcomed Tuesday's mass expulsion of Syrian diplomats by the U.S. and other countries to protest the weekend massacre of dozens of civilians, including children.

But he said the move underscores the need for stronger measures to end Assad's regime. He said President Barack Obama's "lack of leadership" had created a "policy of paralysis" that has led to the killing of an estimated 10,000 Syrians.

Romney called for increasing pressure on Russia to stop selling arms to Syria, and for Russia to end its obstruction at the United Nations.

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