28-09-2016 11:27 PM Jerusalem Timing

Kerry Urges Syria Opposition to Unite, Talk to Assad

Kerry Urges Syria Opposition to Unite, Talk to Assad

US Secretary of State John Kerry said that his country wants halt to violence in Syria, urging the dispersed opposition to unite.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said that his country wants halt to violence in Syria, urging the dispersed opposition to unite.

“We want to stop the killing. And they want to stop the killing. The world wants to stop the killing.” Kerry said in a joint press conference with his NorwegianKerry with Norwegian counterpart during press conference counterpart Espen Barth Eide in Washington.

The US Secretary said that Geneva agreement, signed by international and regional powers months ago, requires both the regime and the opposition in Syria to meet.

“We want to be able to see Assad and the Syrian opposition come to the table for the creation of a transitional government according to the framework that was created in Geneva, the Geneva Protocol, which requires mutual consent on both sides to the formation of that transitional government,” Kerry added.

He also said that the transitional government in Syria requires the opposition to “come to table, too.”

“That’s what we’re pushing for. And to do that, you have to have President Assad change his calculation so he doesn’t believe he can shoot it out endlessly, but you also need a cooperative Syrian opposition to come to the table, too. We’re working on it, and we will continue to work on it.”

The foreign ministers of Russia, China, Britain, France, Turkey, Qatar, Kuwait, and Iraq, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Arab League Secretary General Nabil El-Araby, and the secretary of state of the United States, have agreed to form a transitional governing body in Syria that could include members of the present government and the opposition.

For his part, the Norwegian FM avoided to directly answer whether his country favors arming the opposition against the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

“We have, as of now at least, not been supporting of actively arming the rebels, and I think our position is quite similar to the position of the United States of America,” Eide said.