US Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday said he is hopeful that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could be convinced to enter into a negotiated solution with the opposition that would end almost two years of bloody violence.

“The (US) President’s policy has been crystal clear on this. It is that his preference, the preference of the administration is to make sure we have a political solution if at all possible. That is the preferable outcome here, that there be a negotiated solution but that it would result in President Assad’s departure.

“The President, I think, believes that that is going to happen,” he said.

Addressing a joint news conference with his visiting Jordanian counterpart, Nasser Judeh, Kerry refrained from going into time frame for Assad’s exit.

“The reasons for wanting to have a negotiated solution, which the Syrian Opposition Council leader Khatib has himself courageously spoken out about in the last days, is that you want to avoid if you can the implosion of the state, because that’s dangerous for everybody, and it proposes the possibility of the worst kinds of outcomes. So we need to keep this possibility of a negotiated solution in mind,” he said.

The current situation in Syria was one of the major topic of discussion that Kerry had with Judeh — his second bilateral meeting with his foreign counterpart after he became the Secretary of State early this month.

Kerry said he believe that there are additional things that can be done to change Assad’s current perception.

“I’m not going to go into them here today now. I’m new on the job here, but I’ve got a good sense of what I think we might propose. And we need to really consult with an awful lot of players here before we start again, making any kind of public announcements,” he said.

“But I can assure you my goal is to see us change his calculation. My goal is to see us have a negotiated outcome and minimise the violence. It may not be possible. I’m not going to stand here and tell you that’s automatic or easily achievable.

“There are a lot of forces that have been unleashed here over the course of the last months. But we owe it to ourselves, we owe it to the Syrian people and the region and the world to make every effort to explore ways to achieve that negotiated outcome, and we intend to do that,” Kerry said.

Meanwhile, reiterating their resolve to find a peaceful solution to the negotiated two State — Israel and Palestine — settlement, the United States and Jordan said that the window of opportunity for Middle East Peace process is closing fast.

(This article was published on February 14, 2013)
XThese are links to The Hindu Business Line suggested by Outbrain, which may or may not be relevant to the other content on this page. You can read Outbrain's privacy and cookie policy here.