By Julian Pecquet - 07/02/12 09:55 PM EDT
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is putting a positive spin on this weekend's international meeting on the situation in Syria despite reports of a continued rift with Russia over the need for President Bashar Assad to leave office.
In interviews following the Geneva meeting called by United Nations/Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan, Clinton vehemently denied signing off on a transition plan that could keep Assad in place. The U.N.'s final communique, approved Saturday by the foreign ministers of the Security Council's permanent members and other nations, does not mention him by name.
“I couldn’t disagree with you more,” Clinton told CNN on Sunday when asked if the document fails to require Assad to step down. “I think that what the agreement clearly states is that there has to be a transitional governing body that will be constituted of people who are there by the mutual consent of the government and the opposition. Now, unless I am wildly off base, there is no way anyone in the opposition would ever consent to Assad or his inside regime cronies with blood on their hands being on any transitional governing body.”