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Navi Pillay, United Nations high commissioner for human rights, answers questions during a recess of Security Council consultations on Monday.

Richard Drew/The Associated Press

More than a year into the Syrian revolt, the violence continues to escalate. Three key players will be grappling with the crisis head-on in the coming weeks.

United States

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the United States would meet with Syria's divided opposition groups next week in an effort to forge a more united front among them.

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Russia

Opposition groups also plan to meet Russian officials in Cairo later this month, a Russian news agency reported. The Kremlin remains Syria's most important international ally, blocking efforts by the U.S. and other Western powers to force President Bashar al-Assad out. The Syrian opposition must persuade Syria's most important international ally they are a credible alternative to Mr. Assad.

United Nations

Navi Pillay, the UN high commissioner for human rights, called Monday on the Security Council to strengthen its suspended observer mission in Syria and renewed her call for the country's conflict to be referred to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Russia would likely block any attempt to refer Syria to the ICC. The court prosecutes accusations of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes when national authorities are unwilling or unable to do so.

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