First Published: 2013-06-22

 

Kerry’s recipe to end Syria conflict: More weapons and a pinch of peace

 

US Secretary of State says supporters of Syrian opposition will step up military, other aid in bid to end ‘imbalance’ on ground.

 

Middle East Online

‘Future of Syria is not chosen by one man’

DOHA - US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Saturday that supporters of the Syrian opposition will step up military and other aid in a bid to end an "imbalance" on the ground in President Bashar al-Assad's favour.

Kerry, speaking at a "Friends of Syria" conference of foreign ministers in Qatar, said Washington remained committed to a peace plan that includes a conference in Geneva and a transitional government picked both by Assad and the opposition.

He said the United States supported the original Geneva Communique as it sets up a "process by which a transitional government would be put in place to end the conflict, that transitional government being chosen by mutual consent of both the Assad regime as well as the opposition."

The rebels need more support "for the purpose of being able to get to Geneva and to be able to address the imbalance on the ground," Kerry said.

"The United States and other countries here -- in their various ways, each choosing its own approach -- will increase the scope and scale of assistance to the political and military opposition," he said.

Kerry said the governments at the conference -- which include stalwart supporters of the rebels Qatar and Saudi Arabia -- would work to "coordinate our support" to the opposition's Supreme Military Council.

He accused Assad of an "internationalisation" of the conflict which has claimed nearly 100,000 lives by bringing in the support of Iran and the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah.

"Reliable civilian governance and a stronger and more effective armed opposition will better enable the opposition to be able to provide the counterweight to the initiative of Assad," he said.

Kerry voiced hope for a solution "where the future of Syria is not chosen by one man representing one family or one group that is willing and content to kill people of all backgrounds, of all faiths and all beliefs simply to hold on to power".

US President Barack Obama has announced plans to step up assistance to the rebels after concluding that Assad crossed his stated red line by using chemical weapons.

But the United States has said little about its own assistance, with Obama voicing concern about becoming too involved in the increasingly sectarian conflict.

 

13 dead, 100 injured in two Spanish seaside city attacks

Israel freezes implementation of settlement law

Erdogan meddles in German politics

Saudi Arabia installing cranes at Yemen ports

Civilians stay on frontlines despite dangers in Raqa

Low-cost attacks a new reality for Europeans

Forces of Libya's Haftar say commander wanted by ICC in detention

Yemen rebels urged to free political commentator

Iranian footballer breaks silence over ban for playing Israelis

IS fighters almost encircled in Syrian desert

For Israel, White House ties trump neo-Nazis and antisemitism

Iran reform leader ends hunger strike

Van ploughs through pedestrians in Barcelona terror attack

13 killed in Barcelona van attack

Iraq acknowledges abuses in Mosul campaign

Netanyahu under fire for response to US neo-Nazism

Israel to free high-profile suspects in money laundering probe

Spanish police shut down jet-ski migrant smugglers

Syrian actress, activist Fadwa Suleiman dies in Paris

Israeli court extends detention for Islamic cleric over ‘incitement’

UAE to provide $15 million a month to Gaza

Sudan's Bashir 'satisfied' with Nile dam project

US-backed rebels say American presence in Syria to last ‘decades’

Tunisian clerics oppose equal inheritance rights for women

Israel strikes almost 100 Hezbollah arms convoys in 5 years

UN hopes for eighth round of Syria talks before year’s end

LONG READ: How Syria continues to evade chemical weapons justice

Civilians killed in US-led raids on Raqa

Qatari pilgrims begin flooding into Saudi by land

Turkey arrests 9 more journalists for alleged ‘Gulen links’

Iran’s Karroubi on hunger strike over 6-year house arrest

Saudi Arabia to restart work on Grand Mosque expansion

Algeria reshuffles cabinet, nominates three new ministers

Syria rebels lose heavyweight faction

ICC orders Mali ex-jihadist pay 2.7 m euros for Timbuktu destruction

Libya seeks to ‘organise’ NGOs carrying migrant rescue Ops

More than one million South Sudan refugees in Uganda

Beirut, Damascus pledge to boost economic ties

Two killed on Gaza-Egypt border

Qataris to do hajj on Saudi king expenses

Fire breaks out at UNESCO heritage site in Saudi Arabia

Iran military chief in Turkey for talks on Syrian war

Saudi Electricity announces $1.75b in international loans

Israel to strip Jazeera journalist of press credentials

Bahrain state media accuses Qatar of trying to topple regime