US: Position on Assad has not changed

Obama's special envoy on ISIL, General John Allen, says the US will continue to seek a negotiated political outcome to the Syrian conflict, excluding Bashar al-Assad.

US: Position on Assad has not changed

World Bulletin / News Desk 

U.S. President Barack Obama’s special envoy General John Allen has said the country's position on Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad "has not changed."

Allen was speaking during a meeting with Turkish Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu late on Tuesday in Ankara.

The general's comments come amid a sharp difference of opinion between Ankara and Washington after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry used a TV interview earlier this week to indicate possible talks with Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.

According to a press release by the U.S. Embassy in Ankara on Wednesday, General Allen and Deputy Special Presidential Envoy Ambassador Brett McGurk discussed the shared efforts to degrade ISIL.

"General Allen reiterated that the United States' position on Assad has not changed," the statement said.

"The United States believes that he has lost all legitimacy to govern, that conditions in Syria under his rule have led to the rise of ISIL and other armed groups, and that we continue to seek a negotiated political‎ outcome to the Syrian conflict that does not in the end include Assad," the statement said, referring to the ISIL members with an alternative abbreviation.

On Sunday, John Kerry had told CBS News that the U.S. would "have to negotiate in the end" with Assad.

"What we're pushing for is to get him to come and do that and it may require that there be increased pressure on him of various kinds in order to do that," Kerry said.

Turkey has opposed Kerry's suggestion of talks with Assad. "What is there to negotiate with Assad?” Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Monday, adding: "His regime killed more than 200,000 people and used chemical weapons."

Last Mod: 18 Mart 2015, 12:11
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