(File image) American Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

Pretoria -

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that the world needs to decide how to hasten the end of the conflict in Syria and start planning for a political transition in Damascus.

“We must figure out how to hasten the day when bloodshed ends and the political transition begins,” she said after talks with her South African counterpart Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.

“We have to be sure that we are working with the international community to bring that day about and to be very clear of our expectations about ending the violence and beginning the political transition,” she said.

“We can begin talking and begin planning for what happens next.”

South Africa, which holds a rotating seat on the UN Security Council, has been reluctant to support the US and European stance on Syria. It abstained last month from a vote on a resolution that called for sanctions against Damascus, saying the rebels also needed to be pushed toward peace.

Clinton is currently on an African tour, but afterwards is headed to Istanbul for talks on the Syrian crisis. - Sapa-AFP