Washington: Slamming Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for "brutality" against unarmed citizens that "outraged" the region and the world, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called for immediate halt to the violence in the African state.

"President Assad's brutality against unarmed citizens has outraged the region, the world, and most importantly the Syrian people themselves. The Arab League, the GCC, the Jordanian and Egyptian governments have all condemned his abuses. After repeated warnings, Turkey's President announced that he too has lost confidence in Asad," Clinton said.

"The violence must stop, and he (Assad) needs to step aside. Syria must be allowed to move forward," she said in media availability at the 'Friends of Libya' gathering in Paris.

Those who have joined the US in this call must now translate rhetoric into concrete actions to escalate pressure on Assad and those around him, including strong new sanctions targeting Syria's energy sector to deny the regime the revenues that fund its campaign of violence, she said.

"The EU has already taken important steps, and I'm pleased to hear that more are on the way. Just as we have done in Libya, we are also encouraging the Syrian opposition to set forth their own roadmap for a tolerant, inclusive, and democratic path forward, one that can bring together all Syrians, Christians, and Alawites.

"Everyone who lives in Syria today must be part of the new Syria that should be developed in the months ahead. The people of Syria, like people everywhere, deserve a government that respects their rights equally and without discrimination. Syria's transition to democracy has already begun," Clinton said.

(Agencies)