If Secretary of State John Kerry’s comments yesterday, in which he confirmed the US is willing to negotiate with Syrian President Bashar Assad, represent official policy, it’s clear many US allies are not on board.
The Saudi-dominated GCC lashed the comments as deeply concerning, saying any talks that didn’t begin with the assumption of Assad’s ouster were unacceptable.
Kerry’s French counterpart, Laurent Fabius, was similarly critical, saying any negotiations with Assad would amount to a “scandalous gift to ISIS” that would lead millions of Syrians to back their takeover of the country.
The State Department may well have anticipated this backlash, as they disavowed Kerry’s comments shortly after he made them, insisting the US will never talk with Assad, but might talk with other members of the Assad government.
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