Kerry Reiterates Syria Approach in Talks with Jordanian FM
In remarks with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh Wednesday, Secretary of State John Kerry reaffirmed U.S. support for the kingdom’s constitutional and electoral reform process and the U.S. Government’s commitment to aiding Syrian refugees pouring into Jordan through humanitarian assistance. On the country’s parliamentary elections three weeks ago, Kerry applauded the “very, very significant outcome” and high voter turnout, noting that it “shows a full and robust participation by the Jordanian people in the election process” despite the Islamists’ boycott. “And so this election is really the milestone – it represents a huge first step in this ongoing reform process, and I think we all are very proud of what they’ve accomplished,” he said.
Kerry’s remarks on the conflict in Syria reiterated the Obama Administration’s previous statements disavowing American intervention and calling for a negotiated settlement led by the Syrian Opposition Coalition. He said, “My goal is to see us have a negotiated outcome and minimize the violence. It may not be possible. I’m not going to stand here and tell you that’s automatic or easily achievable,” adding, “We need to really consult with an awful lot of players here before we start again making any kind of public announcements.” Judeh, echoing Kerry’s statement, said, “You cannot put a timeline on staying power…I think we put all that aside and we say that there’s a conviction all around that it is a political solution that needs to kick in and the current situation is untenable.”
Meanwhile, the Arab-language Asharq Alawsat newspaper published a peace proposal by the Syrian opposition laying out a plan for the country’s transition to a secular, parliamentary republic. Entrusting the monitoring of the transition to the U.N., the plan calls for an “elders’ council” to “oversee the country’s demilitarization, safeguard the national reconciliation and set up a civil society” following the establishment of a nationwide dialogue.