US Secretary of State John Kerry insisted on Thursday that President Bashar al-Assad cannot be part of a transitional government in Syria, AFP reports.
Speaking before talks with the Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh on Thursday, Kerry reportedly said all sides were working to "effect a transition government by mutual consent of both sides, which clearly means that in our judgement President Assad will not be a component of that transitional government."
On Tuesday, Kerry and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to convene an international conference to find a political solution on Syria. Following talks in Moscow, both sides said they would encourage Damascus and the opposition to negotiate.
On Wednesday, UN-Arab League peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi hailed a US-Russia accord to push both sides fighting in the Syrian conflict to end the bloodshed, but cautioned that it was “only a first step”.