"This needs to be about empowering all of the Syrian people" -- Kerry
Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - 01:47
Jan. 22 - As heated U.N. peace talks on Syria draw to a close in Switzerland, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says, ''The resolution to this crisis cannot be about one man's insistence.'' Gavino Garay reports.
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The Syrian government and opposition meet for the first time head to head in Switzerland, venting mutual hostility over a nearly three year civil war.
But the United Nations, which mediated the event, said the warring sides may be ready to discuss prisoner swaps, local ceasefires and humanitarian aid.
The U.S. is holding a firm line. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry:
(SOUNDBITE) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY SAYING:
"The resolution to this crisis cannot be about one man's insistence -- or one families' insistence about clinging to power. This needs to be about empowering all of the Syrian people."
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Al-Moualem spoke of the dialogue.
(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SYRIAN FOREIGN MINISTER, WALID AL-MOUALEM SAYING:
"We hope that the Geneva conference will be a first step on the road to establishing a dialogue between Syrians on Syrian ground. I thanks those who stood by us, friendly countries, over the last three years until now and we tell everyone that we will fight terrorism anywhere it is with one hand, and build Syria with democratic politics and society with the other hand."
His adversary, Syrian opposition leader Ahmed Al Jarba:
(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SYRIAN OPPOSITION LEADER, AHMED AL JARBA, SAYING:
''It is time for this disease to be finished and for a new and beautiful Syria to be born. We are at a historical moment today and as your heard here today gentlemen, the whole international community including the permanent members of the Security Council agree on the goal of our meeting today which is the implementation of the principles of Geneva 1, which is bound by UN Security Council resolution 2118.''
But the conference hasn't raised great expectations for an end to a a civil war that has killed more than 100,000 people and left millions homeless.
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