Kerry urges sides to engage in Syria talks
Orient Net - US State Dept. 2016-01-31 16:53:00
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has appealed today to both sides in the Geneva Syria talks to take the opportunity and negotiate in good faith.
"I appeal to both sides to make the most of this moment – to seize the opportunity for serious negotiations – to negotiate in good faith, with the goal of making concrete, measurable progress in the days immediately ahead," Kerry said in a televised statement.
"The main topics on the agenda for these negotiations include arrangements for a nationwide ceasefire and establishing a path to a political transition that will bring this conflict to an end in accordance with the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Security Council Resolution 2254," Kerry added.
"The humanitarian crisis, already disastrous and unacceptable, is actually growing worse by the day. The numbers alone are staggering. An estimated 13.5 million Syrians are in urgent need now of humanitarian aid. Six million are children. Hundreds of thousands are still trapped in areas where food deliveries are non-existent or rare. Behind each of these numbers is a human being just like any of us – a man, woman, or child experiencing suffering on an almost unimaginable scale," Kerry said.
The Syrian regime has a fundamental responsibility; all the parties to the conflict have a duty – to facilitate humanitarian access to populations in desperate need, not in a week, not after further discussions, but right now – today, Kerry emphasized.
Kerry went on to say that "the people of Syria deserve a real choice about the kind of future that they want. Not a choice between brutal repression on one side and terrorists on the other; that’s the choice the Assad regime would like to offer. What the people of Syria need is the kind of choice that emerges from a credible political process."
"We must not forget what the Syrian people will always remember: Assad and his allies have, from the very beginning, been by far the primary source of killing, torture, and deprivation in this war; and the primary magnet drawing foreign fighters to Syria, giving cause to Daesh," Kerry said.
Kerry stressed the conflict could easily engulf the Middle East if no negotiated settlement was achieved, and that peace was in everyone’s interest.
"In the end there is no military solution to the conflict," Kerry concluded.