Accessibility links

Breaking News

Kerry, Saudi Officials to Discuss Syrian Conflict

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is meeting with senior Saudi officials Tuesday to discuss a range of issues, including the situation in Syria.

Both the United States and Saudi Arabia were part of a "Friends of Syria" meeting Saturday where the group pledged to give additional aid to rebels opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Saudi Arabia has been supplying weapons to rebel fighters, while the United States recently said it would send arms in addition to the non-lethal aid it had been providing.

Kerry reiterated Saturday that negotations are the best way to resolve the more than two years of turmoil in Syria.

U.S., Russian and United Nations diplomats are meeting Tuesday in Geneva to discuss plans for a Syrian peace conference that would bring together the rebels and representatives of Mr. Assad's government.

Organizers want the two sides to agree on a transitional government to end the fighting. Nearly two months of trying to arrange the conference have yet to yield a time and place for the talks.

Syria's foreign minister says Mr. Assad will not step down, and that the government wants a cease-fire in place as a condition of attending any negotiations.

The main Syrian opposition coalition has rejected the talks, saying they are meaningless while Syrian troops backed by Hezbollah and Iranian personnel commit alleged atrocities against the Syrian people.