US warns Russia over military support for Assad

Secretary of State says Russian backing undermines political solution in Syria

US warns Russia over military support for Assad

World Bulletin / News Desk

Russian military support for President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria risks attracting more extremists and undermining a political solution, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday.

“Continued military support for the regime by Russia or any other country risks the possibility of attracting more extremists and of entrenching Assad in a way that hinders the potential for resolution,” Kerry told a joint news conference with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Berlin.

Kerry’s comments came after reports of intensified military support and arm deliveries to the Assad regime by Russia.

Urging Russia to use its influence to persuade Assad to accept a political solution, he added: “As we said many times and reaffirm today in our discussions, there is no military solution. It requires a political solution.”

Kerry repeated the U.S. position that although Assad must relinquish power, the timetable for his departure could be negotiated.

“There can be no solution without a transition in power, as the Geneva process has affirmed, and which Russia has signed up to,” he said. “It would be delusional to believe that Bashar al-Assad can ever unite or govern a peaceful Syria.”

Kerry claimed the U.S. decision to conduct talks with Russia’s military did not imply a change of policy but was “de-confliction” to avoid accidents and to establish a plan to fight ISIL.

Turning to the outpouring of refugees from Syria, Kerry revealed the U.S. would accept “at least” 85,000 migrants. “And I underscore ‘at least’. It is not a ceiling, it is a floor,” he said.

The U.S. would take in at least 10,000 Syrians this year, he added.

Last Mod: 21 Eylül 2015, 09:09
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