Kerry and Hague to meet as Syria peace conference in doubt
US Secretary of State John Kerry is to meet with his British counterpart William Hague on Wednesday to discuss the Syrian conflict, as a US-Russia-brokered peace conference remains elusive.
Kerry has cancelled a trip to the Middle East in order to meet with top diplomats and policy-makers for talks on Syria in Washington.
Recent gains by Assad forces on the ground have made the situation more complicated, according to Hague. Fighters loyal to the Syrian President, including thousands of Hezbollah militants, took full control of Qusayr last week, a town which had been held by rebel forces for more than a year.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told AFP that whilst Washington is attempting to organise a peace conference between the Syrian government, opposition and the international community, "we’re not going to have the conference just to have the conference.
We’re going to have the conference to move forward towards a political transition, and we want to make sure the environment is right to do just that.”
Psaki also said that the US will consider accepting Syrian refugees, following a UN appeal for the international community to open their borders to the most vulnerable.
“The preferred option for refugees is typically going back to their home country when it is safe,” Psaki told reporters.
But since the UN had made an appeal “the United States is prepared to respond and will encourage others... to do the same.”
- Kerry expects weapons to be consolidated and shipped out of Syria soon
- Assad, his brother and an army general control chemical weapons - Kerry
- Kerry: Assad has 'lost all legitimacy'
- "Iran and Hezbollah propping up Syria," UK Foreign Secretary William Hague
- "No option is off the table" if Assad doesn't take Syrian peace seriously - British FM