As the Syrian crisis continues to catch the attention of international community, the United States of America and Germany today stressed the need for a political solution to end the crisis and human suffering in the country.
In his remarks with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle after their meeting in Washington DC, US Secretary of State John Kerry commended Germany for helping to try to move the parties towards a peaceful resolution in Syria.
Kerry says both parties talked about the importance of a peaceful resolution and are both committed to working with the Russians and with others in order to try to bring the parties together in Geneva to implement Geneva I, which is a formula for a transition government by mutual consent with full executive authority.
“That’s what the Russians say they are committed to,” he added.
“That’s what we are committed to. And that is a beginning place to start to try to work towards a peaceful resolution.” – Secretary Kerry
US, Germany Stress Need For Sustainable Political Process On Syria
The US and Germany discussed other international issues as well and manifest full support for the important initiative for an international conference on Syria.
Both countries assert that for a lasting solution to the conflict in Syria, there is a need for a sustainable political process. They urged the regime in Damascus to finally stop the violence and come to the negotiation table.
In addition, US and Germany also called on the opposition to unite and to participate in the planned conference.
Germany expressed concern about the latest reports and news of delivery of weapons to the Assad regime. They said that the delivery of weapons to the Assad regime is totally wrong, even though there had ben open talk about the US delivering weapons to the opposition.
According to Secretary Kerry, Mr. Guido was present at the Amman meeting and the Istanbul meetings, and he knows that everybody believes the best solution to the crisis of Syria is a political solution.
He says the formula for the political solution set in Geneva I is already clear.
Everyone who participated has agreed that Geneva I is the basis, the fundamental organizing principle, of Geneva II, he said.
Kerry explained that it is to implement Geneva I, which calls for a transition government with full executive authority by mutual consent.
That means both sides have to agree to who it is would provide that transition government.
“Obviously, that doesn’t include President Assad by definition, because the opposition will never agree to that.” – Secretary Kerry
This doesn’t make a lot of sense, because the Assad regime, which is in control of Syria, has been excluded from all the talks.
Even so, Secretary Kerry seems determined to move forward, ignoring the Assad regime.
“So if everybody’s serious – and we are and the Russians have said they are – the best chance to save Syria, the best chance to be able to protect minorities and stop the killing, the best chance for a future Syria that represents all of the Syrian people and moves beyond this massacre, devastation, killing, sectarian violence, the best chance is through a peaceful resolution that comes about in an organized way. In Geneva, we will test who is serious. Are the Russians serious about pushing for that? I believe they are. President Putin said they are, Sergey Lavrov has said it, and they are trying to organize it.”
Secretary Kerry continued, “In Geneva, we will test who is serious. Are the Russians serious about pushing for that?”
US and Germany In Partnership
In the meeting in Washington DC, Secretary Kerry says the US government is grateful to the German people for being hosts for many, many years to the largest American presence of troops of any country.
He says Germany has been a very strong source of partnership not just with respect to NATO, but also with respect to other interests that the US has in Middle East peace, in Afghanistan, and other places.
On Afghanistan, Secretary Kerry says Germany showed important leadership and it has stepped up with respect to the number of troops that will stay and be there after 2014.
“They’ve taken a leadership position on that. They’ve been very, very important with respect to their role in the northern part of Afghanistan, where they’ve played a leadership role.” – Secretary Kerry
Both Germany and the United States also are deeply committed to working towards peace in the Middle East
According to Secretary Kerry, Foreign Minister Westerwelle has just come back from the Middle East and had conversations on both sides of that issue.
Foreign Minister Westerwelle has reiterated to Secretary Kerry for Germany’s willingness to be a key partner, whether it’s on the economic side or the political side, to help to move this process forward.
“That is assistance that we welcome very, very much – very important to us.” – Secretary Kerry
Transition to New Leadership Crucial to End Syrian Crisis
Citing that the scale and scope of the human tragedy in Syria is staggering, the US today underscored that a transition to new leadership can resolve the crisis of the Middle East country.
Kerry said there can be no stability in Syria, no resolution of the crisis, without a transition to new leadership.
The US believes that the longer Assad clings to power, the greater the odds of state implosion, fragmentation, and regional spillover.
President Obama and Secretary Kerry have made clear their strong preference remains a negotiated transition.
Syrian Crisis Getting Worse Every Day?
With President Assad showing no sign of stepping down and with the incessant conflict continues to destabilize the country, the world now is witnessing a rapid deterioration of an already devastating situation in Syria, where at least 70,000 Syrians have been killed and millions displaced.
The Syrian people continue to face deplorable attacks and massacres by regime forces, including the use of heavy weapons, aircraft, and ballistic missiles.
Secretary Kerry said the US considers these actions as proof of the Assad regime’s complete disregard for the lives of Syria’s citizens, including its children.
March was reportedly the deadliest month of the conflict with over 6,000 Syrians killed and with three to four million people now internally displaced.
Refugee crisis worsens
The exponential surge in refugees is among the clearest signs of this dire situation in Syria.
More than 1.2 million people are refugees and it is predicted these numbers could double or even triple by the end of this year, nearly one third of Syria’s population.
Over 400,000 Syrians have fled in the last seven weeks alone and sought refuge in neighboring countries.
Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, and UN humanitarian agencies are approaching a saturation point with the surge of refugees.
The violence in Syria, which began in March 2011 as a protest movement similar to those witnessed across the Middle East and North Africa, has claimed over 70,000 lives, mostly civilians, and displaced tens of thousands.