Kerry: Assad's position improved, but still not winning

US Secretary of State John Kerry denied that the U.S. administration’s Syria policy is failing but admitted that "the policy in Syria is just very challenging, very difficult."

Kerry: Assad's position improved, but still not winning

World Bulletin / News Desk

Assad has improved his position a little bit, but he's still not winning, said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in an exclusive interview with CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper" on Wednesday.

Kerry denied that the U.S. administration’s Syria policy is failing but admitted that "the policy in Syria is just very challenging, very difficult."

Kerry, in calling the chemical weapons agreement a significant milestone, said that it is progressing. "Yes, it has slowed down in the recent month, but it is speeding up now again," he affirmed.

Regarding Obama's public decision to use a military strike in Syria in September 2013, Kerry said that it is in fact a significant point of leverage that helped bring about the agreement to get chemical weapons out.

"Before we got that agreement, Assad used those weapons against his own people. Now he is not and he can't. So we have eliminated a critical, grotesque tool that this man was willing to use against his own people," Kerry said.

Kerry described the situation in Syria at present as a "sort of stalemate at the moment" and does not want to make excuses but wants the process to move faster, stressing, "we don't have years in Syria."

"..diplomacy is tough, slogging, slow work and hard work. But we're beginning to see the shaping of how you might potentially get somewhere," he said.

He commented that the U.S. constantly reevaluates what more that it can do and works with Congress on this process. He added that "if there's a way to get more response from the Russians, more response from Assad," the U.S will try.

When asked about advocating the provision of different kinds of aid to the rebels, and providing weapons in some cases, Kerry said that he is not free to go into all the details. "But I will say to you that the President has taken an aggressive position. ..Everybody knows we are providing non-lethal assistance to the opposition in significant amounts," he admitted.

Kerry also said that the U.S. is the largest single donor with respect to the humanitarian crisis in Syria and has taken the leadership with respect to bringing their allies together in efforts to be able to coordinate the operations taking place there.

"The President is always reevaluating this. But I assure you that the U.S. is doing a great deal, " he said.

Last Mod: 06 Şubat 2014, 13:00
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