Istanbul: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on the world community on Thursday to choke the Syrian regime's economic lifelines as she headed into a strategy session with key regional powers.
   
Clinton arrived in Istanbul from Azerbaijan to meet with representatives of 15 countries -- Arab states and European powers -- to discuss how to halt the violence in Syria and remove President Bashar al-Assad from power.
   
"We must continue to close off the regime's economic lifelines, expand the circle of countries vigorously implementing sanctions, and prevent the Syrian government from evading them," she said in a statement.
   
"And we welcome other countries' views about additional measures that would be effective," she said.
   
"The regime must end the atrocities, comply with all its commitments under the Annan plan, and allow the transition to a democratic Syria to begin."

(Agencies)

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