Reuters) – President Barack Obama spoke with the leaders of Saudi Arabia and Britain on Saturday and all three called for an immediate end to the Syrian government’s crackdown on protests against President Bashar al-Assad, the White House said.
Obama and Saudi King Abdullah “agreed that the Syrian regime’s brutal campaign of violence against the Syrian people must end immediately, and to continue close consultations about the situation in the days ahead,” the White House said in a statement.
Similar language was used in a statement after a separate Obama conversation with British Prime Minister David Cameron.
That statement also noted that the two leaders “agreed to closely monitor the actions that the Syrian government is taking and to consult on further steps in the days ahead.”
Syrian troops killed three people as tanks swept into a coastal city on Saturday, activists said, the latest action in a military campaign that activists say has killed 1,700 civilians in five months.
The United States has stopped short of calling for Assad to step down from power, but it slapped additional sanctions on Syria earlier this week and urged countries to stop buying Syrian oil and gas.
King Abdullah on Monday called for an end to the bloodshed in Syria and recalled the Saudi ambassador from Damascus.
European U.N. Security Council members including Britain warned Syria on Wednesday that it could face tougher U.N. action if it continued the crackdown.
Saturday’s killing in the Syrian seaside city of Latakia came a day after security forces shot dead 20 people during nationwide marches demanding that Assad surrender power.