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White House: Focused on next steps to solve Syrian crisis

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States hopes to meet soon with international partners to consider how to halt violence in Syria and provide humanitarian aid, the White House said on Wednesday.

"In the coming days we will continue our very active discussions ... to crystallize the international community's next steps in that effort to halt the slaughter of the Syrian people," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters.

Carney said the discussions, which would include the opposition Syrian national council, were aimed at helping the process "move toward a peaceful, political transition, (a) democratic transition in Syria," but gave no details.

The weekend failure of a U.N. Security Council resolution against Syria, vetoed by Russia and China, has focused attention on how to tighten sanctions already in place and target the finances of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

But the White House continued to stress it was not actively considering military intervention to prevent a crackdown on opponents of Assad's rule in which thousands have been killed.

"We never rule anything out in a situation like this. But we are pursuing a path that includes isolating and pressuring the Assad regime so that it stops its heinous slaughtering of its own people," Carney said.

(Reporting By Alister Bull and Matt Spetalnick; Editing by Xavier Briand)

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