Kerry says Syrian opposition needs more help

PARIS Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:08pm EST

French Foreign Affairs minister Laurent Fabius (R) welcomes U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the Quai d'Orsay Ministry in Paris February 27, 2013. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

French Foreign Affairs minister Laurent Fabius (R) welcomes U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the Quai d'Orsay Ministry in Paris February 27, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Philippe Wojazer

Related Topics

PARIS (Reuters) - Syria's opposition needs more help in its struggle against President Bashar al-Assad and Washington wants to find ways to speed up a political transition, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday.

Kerry, who met his French counterpart in Paris ahead of a Friends of Syria meeting in Rome on Thursday, did not say whether Washington was planning additional aid.

The Washington Post reported this week that the White House was considering a shift in policy and could send the rebels body armor and armed vehicles and provide military training. The report said U.S. officials still oppose providing arms.

"We are examining and developing ways to accelerate the transition the Syrian people seek and deserve," Kerry told a news conference with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.

He said Washington wanted the Syrian opposition's advice on how to speed up a political solution which would be the best way to end the bloodshed and protect the interests of the Syrian people.

"That may require us to change President al-Assad's current calculation," he said. "He needs to know he cannot shoot his way out of this, so we need to convince him of that and I think the opposition needs more help in order to be able to do that. And we are working together to have a united position."

(Reporting by Arshad Mohammed and Alexandria Sage; Editing by Jon Boyle)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (3)
usagadfly wrote:
No more Middle Eastern wars as an Israeli proxy! Let Israel invade all these countries directly if they want, rather than use US Social Security money and American troops to do it for them. Keep out of Syria! Feed Americans instead! Expel Israeli agents!

Feb 27, 2013 11:17am EST  --  Report as abuse
MikeyLikesIt wrote:
No, Chin Man, the “rebels” in Syria do not need our help.

Haven’t we already learned enough lessons about training extremists and giving them weapons?

Feb 27, 2013 11:28am EST  --  Report as abuse
Amir313 wrote:
I think Secretary of the United State does not have access to You tube, otherwise he could see that we spend our money to help the FSA kill more innocent people especially minority Shia Muslims and Christian. well done this way latter on we can go back and fight extremist with our tax payer money. Now we help them to kill people then we go after them and spread them to another country.

Feb 27, 2013 3:02pm EST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.