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Kerry welcomes new peace conference on Syria

English.news.cn   2013-11-26 03:40:05            

WASHINGTON, Nov. 25 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday welcome another peace conference on Syria slated for Jan. 22 in Geneva, calling it an "important meeting at an important time."

"We have long underscored that there is no military solution to the violence in Syria that has taken more than 100,000 lives and displaced millions," the top American envoy said in a statement.

"The conference on Jan. 22 is the best opportunity to implement the Geneva Communique and form a new transitional governing body through mutual consent -- an important step toward ending the suffering of the Syrian people and the destabilizing impact of this conflict on the region."

The Geneva Communique, adopted at the first international meeting on Syria on June 30, 2012, lays out key steps to end the Syria crisis, which started in March 2011.

The communique calls for the establishment of a transitional governing body, with full executive powers and made up of members of the government, the opposition and other groups, as part of agreed principles and guidelines for a Syrian-led political transition.

Kerry called for a "new leadership" in Syria to "end the bloodshed and give the Syrian people a chance to meet their long- deferred aspirations."

"To contain the growing threat from extremism and foreign fighters within Syria, and to ensure respect for Syria's territorial sovereignty, we cannot delay the work of establishing a transitional government," he said.

President Barack Obama still believes that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad needs to step down to make peace in his country, White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters on Monday.

"That is the goal of these talks," Earnest said. "We're hopeful that by bringing both sides to the table, we can get started on that process."

Kerry acknowledged "difficulties ahead," saying Washington will continue to work with the United Nations and U.S. partners on remaining issues, including countries to be invited for the meeting and its agenda.

Editor: yan
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