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Germany: Kerry says Assad is the greatest obstacle to US-Russia unity on Syria03:40

Germany: Kerry says Assad is the greatest obstacle to US-Russia unity on Syria

Germany, Berlin
October 22, 2015 at 20:26 GMT +00:00 · Published

US Secretary of State John Kerry held a joint press conference with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Berlin, Thursday. During the press conference Kerry expressed a degree of cautious optimism following his four-hour meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier in the day. "I would characterise that conversation as one that gave me a cautious measure of optimism that there may be some things that could be, in the next couple of days, put on the table which would have an impact, I hope, on the perceptions of everybody engaged that there is a way to defuse the situation and begin to find a way forward," Kerry said.

Discussing Syria, Steinmeier said that the situation had been made more complicated by Russian intervention on behalf of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. "In view of the military situation in Syria, finding a solution has become harder through the military intervention of Russia," he said. However Germany's top diplomat made clear that a political solution could only be achieved in Syria if Russia and the USA "can build bridges towards each other."

Discussing this point further, Kerry made clear that the main thing standing in the way of further cooperation and a political solution in Syria was the continued rule of Assad, Kerry said, before detailing a list of things that compromise had been found on. "We believe that it is essential for all countries to focus efforts against Daesh and any extremist element that is unwilling to be part of a peaceful democratic solution, we agree on the criticality of keeping together all of the institutions of the government and engaging in a political process because everybody has agreed there is no military solution but engaging in a political process that brings about the implementation of the Geneva Communique. We all agree on that," the US diplomat stated.

Germany: Kerry says Assad is the greatest obstacle to US-Russia unity on Syria03:40
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US Secretary of State John Kerry held a joint press conference with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Berlin, Thursday. During the press conference Kerry expressed a degree of cautious optimism following his four-hour meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier in the day. "I would characterise that conversation as one that gave me a cautious measure of optimism that there may be some things that could be, in the next couple of days, put on the table which would have an impact, I hope, on the perceptions of everybody engaged that there is a way to defuse the situation and begin to find a way forward," Kerry said.

Discussing Syria, Steinmeier said that the situation had been made more complicated by Russian intervention on behalf of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. "In view of the military situation in Syria, finding a solution has become harder through the military intervention of Russia," he said. However Germany's top diplomat made clear that a political solution could only be achieved in Syria if Russia and the USA "can build bridges towards each other."

Discussing this point further, Kerry made clear that the main thing standing in the way of further cooperation and a political solution in Syria was the continued rule of Assad, Kerry said, before detailing a list of things that compromise had been found on. "We believe that it is essential for all countries to focus efforts against Daesh and any extremist element that is unwilling to be part of a peaceful democratic solution, we agree on the criticality of keeping together all of the institutions of the government and engaging in a political process because everybody has agreed there is no military solution but engaging in a political process that brings about the implementation of the Geneva Communique. We all agree on that," the US diplomat stated.

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