Panetta Pledges Help to Jordan for Syrian Refugees
By Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Aug. 2, 2012 Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta today pledged to explore ways to continue U.S. help in providing humanitarian aid to those affected by violence in Syria.
A meeting between Panetta and King Abdullah in Amman, Jordan, focused on regional security challenges, most notably Syria and recent refugee flows into Jordan, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said.
“They talked not only about how to deal with the current crisis that is being fueled by the intolerable acts of the Assad regime,” Little said in a written statement, “but also the prospects for political transition in a post-Assad Syria.”
Panetta and King Abdullah agreed that strong international pressure must be sustained to make it clear that Syrian leader Bashar Assad must go, and that the Syrian people deserve to determine their own future, the press secretary said.
Panetta also reiterated the U.S. commitment to its strategic relationship with Jordan and to the strong defense relationship between the two countries, Little added.
In Washington, President Barack Obama today approved an additional $12 million in humanitarian assistance to further help the estimated 130,000 people who have fled to neighboring countries to escape the violence in Syria. A statement released by White House Spokesman Jay Carney said the aid is in addition to $76 million in food, water, medical supplies, clothing, hygiene and other humanitarian relief already provided to those most urgently in need.