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Assad awaiting action from Kerry

Leader of the Syrian regime Bashar Al-Assad said yesterday he had heard reports that international powers were planning to negotiate with him however he is waiting for them to contact him before he decides on the issue, the Anadolu Agency reported.

Al-Assad was referring to remarks made by US Secretary of State John Kerry during an interview with CBS News.

Syrian TV reported Al-Assad saying: "Any international shifts occurring regarding this issue are considered positive if they are truthful and had affects on the ground."

"Such shifts would be positive should it start with halting political support for terrorists, halting funds and putting pressure on the EU and countries in the region to halt logistic, financial and military support for the terrorists. Then, we can say these shifts are real."

On Sunday, Kerry said he would be willing to talk with Al-Assad to stem Syrian violence.

Speaking to CBS News, Kerry said the US was pushing for Al-Assad to seriously discuss a transition strategy to quell the country's four-year civil war.

State Department Spokeswoman Marie Harf, however, said later that Kerry was not specifically referring to Al-Assad. She reiterated that Washington would never negotiate with the Syrian leader.

Harf said: "By necessity, there has always been a need for representatives of the Al-Assad regime to be part of this process. It has never been and would not be Al-Assad who would negotiate – and the secretary was not saying that today [Sunday]."

Asia & AmericasMiddle EastNewsSyriaUS
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