Sunday, May 24, 2015Sunday, May 24, 2015

John Kerry slams Russia for 'enabling' Syria's Assad to stay in power

Published on Feb 17, 2014 12:44 PM
US Secretary of State John Kerry pauses as he delivers a speech on climate change in Jakarta on Feb 16, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS 

JAKARTA (AFP) - US Secretary of State John Kerry slammed Russia on Monday for “enabling” Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad to stay in power in the war-torn country, after Geneva peace talks broke off without result at the weekend.

“The regime stonewalled, they did nothing except continue to drop barrel bombs on their own people and continue to destroy their own country. And I regret to say they’re doing so with increased support from Iran, from Hezbollah and from Russia,” Mr Kerry told reporters in the Indonesian capital Jakarta.

“Russia needs to be a part of the solution and not be distributing so much more weapons and so much more aid that they’re in fact enabling Assad to double-down. Which is creating an enormous problem.”

The so-called Geneva II process was initiated by the United States, which backs the Syrian opposition coalition, and Moscow, which supports the government in Damascus.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!