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News code: 21574
Published Date: Monday 17 February 2014 - 14:50:28
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Kerry slams Russia for 'enabling' Assad

Kerry slams Russia for 'enabling' Assad
World  - US Secretary of State John Kerry criticized Russia for supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to stay in power, two days after the second round of negotiations in Geneva ended with no results.

 

The latest “peace talks” came 10 days after the first round of negotiations ended without finding a way to resolve the conflict which has dragged on for nearly three years.

Kerry accused Damascus of stonewalling the Geneva talks thanks in large part to support from Russia.

“Russia needs to be a part of the solution and not be distributing so much more weapons and so much more aid that they’re in fact enabling Assad to double-down. Which is creating an enormous problem,” Kerry told reporters Monday in the Indonesian capital Jakarta.

The top US diplomat also slammed the Syrian delegation, saying they refused to open up one moment of discussion during the meetings in Geneva.

He said in a statement that Syria’s supporters should press President Assad to step down or they themselves will have to "bear responsibility" if his government continues to stonewall the talks.

However, Syrian foreign minister, Walid al-Moallem blamed Washington for failure of the talks saying the US tried to “create a very negative climate for dialogue in Geneva.”

Damascus said the talks failed because the other side refused to abide by the Geneva communiqué of 2012, which says terrorism must be addressed.

President Barack Obama has threatened that the United States and its Arab allies will step up pressure on the Syrian government.

“We are going to need a political transition in that region,” Obama said Friday after he sat down with King Abdullah II of Jordan in California.

“There will be some intermediate steps that we can take to apply more pressure to the Assad regime, and we’re going to be continuing to work with all the parties concerned to try to move forward on a diplomatic solution,” he said, without specifying what those steps might be.

Senior US officials, including Secretary Kerry, have admitted that the White House’s announced policy of removing President Assad is all but failing.

News Code: 21574
Published Date: Monday 17 February 2014 - 14:50:28
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