Kerry: Assad Can’t Be Part of Syrian ‘Transitional’ Govt

Rebel Delegates Scramble to Be Declared New Governing Body

Reflecting how much the Geneva II “peace” conference has become about the United States dictating terms, Secretary of State John Kerry today told delegates at the talks that they have only “one option” to consider, and that’s the creation of a new government, and one that cannot allow President Bashar Assad’s involvement in any way.

Though as recently as early last week Kerry was suggesting the talks might involve ceasefires and the like, in recent days he hasn’t presented the conference’s one and only goal as rubber stamping a new American-backed regime.

That suits the Syrian National Coalition (SNC), the only rebel body who bothered to attend, just fine, and they’re urging a quick timetable that would establish a new “governing body,” dominated by them, in 3-6 months.

The fast timetable is part an effort to get while the getting’s good, as the SNC has little to no support among Syrian rebels but still styles itself a “government in exile,” and wants that status formally conferred on them before any other bloc has time to object.

That’s one motivating factor for the timetable, but the other is the 2014 Syrian Presidential election, which President Assad still insists will happen on time, and which could seriously jeopardize the SNC’s claim to be the voice of a public that would never vote them into office.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.