Kerry: Syria to have transitional government in six months, election in 18 months
"We still differ on what happens to Bashar al-Assad," said US Secretary of State John Kerry. (Al Bawaba/File)
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US Secretary of State John Kerry says a transitional government for Syria is to be set in six months’ time and elections in 18 months, according to the Associated Press.
America’s top diplomat reportedly made the comment at the end of the latest round of international talks on the Syrian crisis in Vienna, Austria.
Kerry said parties to the Syria talks agreed on Saturday to accelerate efforts to end the conflict in the Arab country by launching negotiations between the government and opposition by January and holding elections within 18 months.
He told a news conference after the Vienna talks that the five permanent members of the UN Security Council also agreed to pass a resolution in favor of a ceasefire in Syria.
Kerry noted, however, that a Syria ceasefire does not apply to terrorist groups like Daesh (ISIL) or the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front and other extremist groups.
He added that the international negotiations still reached no agreement on the future of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad despite concrete progress in their talks on ending the Syrian conflict.
"We still differ on what happens to Bashar al-Assad," Kerry told reporters at the joint news conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura.
Earlier, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini described as "very good" the latest round of talks on the Syrian crisis.
The ‘Black Friday’ Effect
Elsewhere in his remarks, the US secretary of state condemned Friday’s terror attacks in the French capital city, where scores of people lost their lives in a string of coordinated assaults claimed by ISIL.
Kerry blasted the “horrendous” attacks and offered Paris America’s support.
He also said that determination to defeat terror only grew stronger after the Paris attacks.
Nearly 130 people died in Paris on November 13 in a spate of terrorist shootings and bombings- the worst attack on France since World War II.
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