News / Middle East

    Kerry: Syria's Assad Still Doesn't Realize He Has to Go

    VOA News
    Secretary of State John Kerry says the United States has to change what he calls Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's "calculation" about his situation.

    Kerry on Wednesday said Assad has not yet realized that it is inevitable he will be thrown out of power.

    The secretary of state told reporters at the State Department he has a good sense of what he might propose to get Assad to change his perception. But Kerry said there are a lot of people who have to be consulted before any announcements are made.

    US Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh (L) at State Department Feb. 13, 2013US Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh (L) at State Department Feb. 13, 2013
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    US Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh (L) at State Department Feb. 13, 2013
    US Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh (L) at State Department Feb. 13, 2013
    Kerry on Wednesday hosted Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, whose country's economy is under stress by helping to care for 300,000 Syrian refugees. Judeh said he did not want to put a timeline for President Assad's ouster, and again called for talks and a political transition.

    The United Nations says the nearly two-year-old uprising against the authoritarian Assad government has killed close to 70,000 people. Most of the dead are civilians.

    The head of the Russian government arms export agency, Anatoly Isaikin, says Russia is continuing to sell weapons to Syria because there are no sanctions against such sales and its contracts are legally binding.

    But Isaikin says Russia is only selling defensive weapons to Syria -- nothing that can be used to attack people.

    Kerry said Wednesday that he is hopeful Russia and the United States can find more common ground on Syria.

    Russia, a long-time Syrian ally, has vetoed U.N. Security Council sanctions on Syria, angering the United States.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Eldin Y. from: Kazan, Russia
    February 14, 2013 1:39 PM
    Why does the US think it has the right to decide which presidents of sovereign nations "have to go" or "have to stay"? :) Do the USA think it is a good idea to arm medieval illiterate terrorist groups with modern weapons and to send them to other countries to loot and kill? I think the USA have overstepped a red line in 2011, "but they don't realize it yet". Well, they will do that soon. Hopefully before it is to late and they have to pay the full price for their crimes.
    In Response

    by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
    February 14, 2013 3:03 PM
    The same reason the US stepped in during WWII and decided that the third reich had to go= because it was slaugthering millions of innocent people, including ~30+ million people in the USSR. And if you do not think, that 70,000 mostly innocent Sunni Muslim civilians do not count as human beings that should not have been killed, then what can I say to you. We certainly do not want to see another 70,000 more innocent Sunni Muslim civilians killed in the next year; no more than the West would have sat idly and watched another ~30+ million innocent Soviet citizens killed duiring WWII.

    It is called concern for humanity and the protection of the weak...Things may not turn right, every time, but thanks to the US, and its sacrifices in WWII of tens of thousands of young Americans, you are free and not speaking German now. And by the way, no USSR gvmt has ever thanked the US for its intervention to save Europe and the world from the nazis. The nazis were months from winning the war when the US stepped in.

    by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
    February 14, 2013 12:05 AM
    The new State Secretary, Mr. Kerry is 1000% correct, Assad needs to go, but more importantly, is that if at all possible a controlled/orderly transition needs to take place; which includes the departure of all foreign combatants, with some form of monetary compensation, but without weapons. All the weapons need to be collected, much like it was done in Bosnia/Hersegovina, but this time the weapons need to be destroyed. And promt aid needs to be provided, through international effort, to relieve the suffering of the civilians and treat all the injured (mental/physical).
    In Response

    by: King from: USA
    February 14, 2013 2:24 PM
    How about Egypt, its the same situation and worse.
    Morsi is much worse than Mubarak

    by: WILLIAM from: ARGENTINA
    February 13, 2013 9:45 PM
    In my personal opinion, the former catholic pope John Paul ll and the current pope Joseph Ratzinger, if we would to agree or not with their pontificades, and the things they did, they will be remembered as a Roman Catholics Chiefs of state, whom tried to build a bridge with members of other religious confessions, as protestants, the Grand Rebbe of Israel, and a courage and appropiate voyage to a muslim land as Turkey in turkish main capital, Ankara, thats my point of view. I dont agree with catatrostrofic prophecies, and augure long life for the Church of Saint Peter, a long pontificade, the whole world needs a church compromize with a earth in common union and in singular

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