Kerry says U.S. will have to negotiate with Syria’s Assad; Turkey furious; France disagrees

(Reuters) – The United States will have to negotiate with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for a political transition in Syria and is exploring ways to pressure him into agreeing to talks, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told CBS News in an interview.

Washington has long insisted that Assad must be replaced through a negotiated, political transition, but the rise of a common enemy, hardline militant group Islamic State, appears to have slightly softened the West’s stance towards him.

In the interview broadcast on Sunday, Kerry did not repeat the standard U.S. line that Assad had lost all legitimacy and had to go. Syria’s civil war is now into its fifth year, with hundreds of thousands killed and millions of Syrians displaced.

“We have to negotiate in the end,” Kerry said. “We’ve always been willing to negotiate in the context of the Geneva I process,” he added, referring to a 2012 conference which called for a negotiated transition to end the conflict.

Kerry said the United States and other countries, which he did not name, were exploring ways to reignite the diplomatic process to end the conflict in Syria…

Related: Turkey furious over US stance on Assad, Syria

French PM says regrets Kerry comments on Syria

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  • Ron MacDonald

    Kerry wants a Nobel Peace Prize so badly he can taste it.

    • Canadian

      Where exactly did he bring peace? ;- )

      • Ron MacDonald

        Obama got for for doing nothing.

        • Canadian

          But He was the Messiah!

    • Exile1981

      that’s because he pends a lot of time polishing and licking obamas.

  • dance…dancetotheradio

    If it wasn’t for Assad, Syria would be a bigger shit storm than it already is.
    I know because I asked Lahey from Trailer Park Boys.

  • Just a thought

    This is about as organized as they get.

    Kerry says “we MUST involve Barney, and the Smurfs in the talks as well as Assad.

    Wait, we AREN’T involving Assad?
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/16/us-mideast-crisis-syria-usa-idUSKBN0MC2BF20150316

    OK, but if I can’t have Barney and the Smurfs, I quit!”

    (If only)

  • Maggat

    Kerry doesn’t know whether he is scratching his ass or picking his nose. However, if he is pissing off the turks and the french, then maybe, just maybe, he is on the right track.

  • barryjr

    Whatever happened to Buckwheat’s line in the sand?

    • Frau Katze

      Long washed away.

    • Canadian

      High tide.

  • Raymond Hietapakka

    Did the Ketchup Queen buy this horse-faced moron’s job for him?

  • Hard Little Machine

    This is what Iran told Obama to do.

  • Freedom

    In my opinion you don’t do deals with murdering dictators. Stand for something.