News / Middle East

Kerry Talks Syria With Davutoglu, Lavrov

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) meets with Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu before attending the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) security meetings in Bandar Seri Begawan, July 2, 2013.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) meets with Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu before attending the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) security meetings in Bandar Seri Begawan, July 2, 2013.
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— U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met separately with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Tuesday for talks about Syria's civil war. The meetings came on the sidelines of a forum of South East Asian nations in Brunei.

A senior State Department official says Kerry and Davutoglu focused on ways to strengthen opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and to expand humanitarian assistance for civilians displaced by the fighting. Both men expressed concern over attacks by Assad loyalists against civilians in the city of Homs and over what a U.S. official called "Hezbollah's continued violent and destabilizing interference in Syria."

Turkey is a front-line ally among countries backing the rebellion, especially those, such as the United States, who now say they will help arm Assad opponents.

Russia, on the other hand, is arming Assad forces and says those who would give weapons to rebels risk having those weapons fall into the hands of terrorists. While backing opposing sides in this conflict, Kerry and Lavrov continue to work toward Syrian talks on a transitional authority to end the civil war. That was the focus of their meeting here in Brunei.

Kerry says he and Lavrov agree there can not be a military solution to the Syrian crisis. The secretary of state began this trip 12 days ago, meeting with Syrian opposition supporters in Doha, all of whom agreed to increase their support for the rebellion, nine of the eleven agreeing to provide weapons.

  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry walks foreign ministers all in colorful shirts at the conclusion of the second day of the ASEAN security conference in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, July 1, 2013.
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry waves upon his arrival at the US-ASEAN ministerial meeting in the International Conference Center in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, July 1, 2013.
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry leaves the podium at the end of a news conference about his trip to the Middle East, in Tel Aviv, Israel, June 30, 2013.
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry waits for departure to Amman, Jordan, to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for the second time of his trip, June 29, 2013.
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry gestures as he meets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, June 28, 2013.
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Amman, Japan, June 28, 2013.
  • US Secretary of State John Kerry arrives in Amman, Jordan June 26, 2013
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks to staff from the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait City, Kuwait, June 26, 2013.
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, attends a coffee ceremony with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal as a welcome upon Kerry's arrival in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, June 25, 2013.
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry with young alumni of State Department programs looks at the 14th century Tomb of Muslim rulers during their walk at Lodhi gardens, in New Delhi, June 24, 2013.
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is greeted by Qatari Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani at Wajbah Palace in Doha, June 23, 2013.

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