The US’ top diplomat has said that a political solution to the conflict in Syria may be “weeks away.” His statements comes as King Abdullah II of Jordan claims countries “are facing a third world war against humanity.”
US State Secretary John Kerry said on Tuesday that “a big transition” in Syria was likely to occur in the coming weeks as several countries involved in the Syrian conflict seek to implement a ceasefire as the first step towards a political solution.
“If we can get that done, that opens up the aperture for a whole bunch of things. We’re weeks away conceivably from the possibility of a big transition for Syria, and I don’t think enough people necessarily notice that. But that’s the reality,” Kerry told reporters at the residence of the US ambassador to France.
“We are not talking about months, we are talking about weeks hopefully,” Kerry said.
On Saturday, world leaders agreed in Vienna to set a timetable for a political transition in Syria, although the question of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s fate remains a contentious subject between key supporters Russia and Iran, and Western and Arab nations that reject his inclusion in a solution.
Kerry arrived in Paris on Monday evening to meet with French President Francois Hollande and show solidarity with France following deadly attacks in the nation’s capital that left 129 people dead. The attacks were claimed by the “Islamic State” militant group based in Syria and Iraq.
‘Third world war’?
In an interview with American broadcaster CNN, Kerry noted that the US is working with Ankara to finish securing Turkey’s border with northern Syria.
“The entire border of northern Syria – 75 percent of it has now been shut off. And we are entering an operation with the Turks to shut off the other remaining 98 kilometers (60.9 miles),” said Kerry on Tuesday.
Kerry’s statements come as the US-led coalition, France and Russia ramp up efforts against the “Islamic State” militant group, which not only claimed the Paris attacks, but also said it downed a Russian passenger aircraft over Sinai in October.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday confirmed that the plane was brought down by a bomb.
Meanwhile, King Abdullah II of Jordan on Tuesday said that “Islamic State” militants were “savage outlaws of religion.”
“We are facing a third world war against humanity and this is what brings us all together,” the king told a press conference in Kosovo, referring to countries that have suffered attacks by the militant group.
“So therefore we must act fast and holistically to tackle and respond to the interconnected threats whether it is in the region, Africa, Asia or in Europe,” King Abdullah II added.
ls/kms (AFP, AP, Reuters)