Participants at ministerial peace talks on Syria intend to work on establishing a transitional government and new elections leading to a “credible” government, according to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
Kerry: Agreement for “credible” Syrian elections
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
STORY: There was no agreement at ministerial peace talks on Syria on Friday (October 30) on what should happen with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad at the end of a political transition process, although parties are urging for a political process leading to a “credible” government, according to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
“We agreed that these elections must be administered under U.N. supervision to the satisfaction to the governed and the highest international standards of transparency and accountability, free and fair,” said Kerry.
Sergei Lavrov echoed that statement saying, “I did not say Assad has to go or that Assad has to stay. I said that Assad’s destiny should be decided by the Syrian people.”
“We agreed that DAESH and other terrorist groups as designated by the U.N. Security Council, and as agreed by the participants, must be defeated,” said Kerry during a press conference in Vienna for ministerial talks aimed at finding a political solution to end Syria’s four-year civil war.
U.S. President Barack Obama plans to deploy dozens of special operations forces to northern Syria to advise opposition forces in their fight against Islamic State, a major shift and a step he has long resisted to avoid getting dragged into another war in the Middle East.
Lavrov said a U.S. decision to deploy special forces in Syria would make cooperation between the armed forces of the two countries more important.
The number of special operations troops in Syria would be fewer than 50, said a senior administration official, speaking ahead of an announcement on Friday by the administration. One U.S. official said the number was likely to be in the range of 20 to 30 but could not provide details.