Don't miss




Nigerian oppposition claims historic election win

Read more


Facebook tracks you, even if you not a user

Read more


Iran deal: Deadline day for nuclear talks (part two)

Read more


Iran deal: Deadline day for nuclear talks (part one)

Read more


Agriculture: When farms turn into factories

Read more


Strait of Hormuz: a smuggler's paradise

Read more


Investigations against pro-Ouattara camp to begin mid-2015, says ICC chief prosecutor

Read more


Asaf Avidan's Gold Shadow

Read more


UN Special Envoy to the Middle East: 'I leave the Gaza Strip in an even worse situation than before'

Read more


Kerry says US seeks faster Syria political transition

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-02-27

US Secretary of State John Kerry met with French President François Hollande and Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Wednesday in Paris. Their talks focused on the crisis in Mali and increasing support for the Syrian opposition.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday that the US and France were trying to hasten the political transition in war-torn Syria, which would be discussed at a meeting in Rome later this week.

“We are examining ways to accelerate the political transition,” Kerry said, addressing a joint press conference with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius in Paris.

Kerry did not specify whether or not Washington was planning to offer additional aid, though The Washington Post reported this week that the Obama administration was mulling a shift in policy, and could provide vetted rebels with body armour, vehicles, and training.

“[Syrian President Bashar al-Assad] 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,” Kerry told reporters. “And we are working together to have a united position.”

Kerry, who has deep family ties in France, is in Paris as part of an 11-day trip around Europe and the Middle East that is his first official outing as secretary of state.

He even began his statements at the press conference in French, before switching to English.

'Together, France and the US can make things happen'

FRANCE 24 International Affairs Editor Virginie Herz called his approach “a strategy of seduction of France”, and noted that Kerry made cultural and historic references to France, citing Voltaire and Rousseau.

Fabius, meanwhile, heaped praise on his US counterpart, calling him a “well-known friend of France” and thanking him in particular for US support of France’s intervention in Mali.

There have been tensions between Washington and Paris over Mali, with French officials reportedly voicing initial frustration with what they saw as foot-dragging by the US on providing logistical support to their intervention.

But any tensions seem to have since subsided, as Washington has already given $96 million (73 million euros) to help train the African force, which may evolve into a UN peacekeeping mission.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

Date created : 2013-02-27


    Can Kerry measure up to 'rock star' Clinton ?

    Read more


    'Monsieur' John Kerry and the French connection

    Read more


    Syrian opposition agrees to international talks in Rome

    Read more